Storytelling: Stories Hidden in The Data From Feedback Forms

I have written about my views on the obsession attached with collecting data on Feedback Forms for workshops, seminars and trainings in the past. But as I am reading and understanding more about Feedback I am developing some insights.

The trend has been to centralise and standardise systems, collecting data on metrics on feedback for workshops, trainings, seminars etc.

This can be helpful, but you can’t “metric” your way around the fact that feedback is relationship -based, judgement-laced process. As Dick Grote observes in ” The Myth of Performance Metrics.” you can’t evaluate the performance of a language translator simply by counting the number of pages he translates. You have to make judgements about the quality of translation ,its success in capturing nuance, meaning, and tone. Organisations continue to take metric based feedback because that is the only clear way to prove worth. Numbers are not subjective.

There are no easy answers for us . Systems will always be imperfect. We should work to improve them, but that can only take us so far.

The greatest leverage is helping the people inside the system communicate more effectively, and as between giver and receiver, it’s the receiver’s skills that have the most impact. We need to  equip the receivers to drive their own learning and develop a mindset to uncover what is the story hidden behind the number and how can I learn from it.

There is truly no value in knowing that you received 10/10 or 3/10 until you can uncover what is behind the numbers. It the receiver develops a mindset that he/she will use the information to make themselves better then the entire sentiment attached to feedback changes from,  here are numbers that prove my worth to here are numbers that give me chance to find more, learn more, develop more and isn’t that what we want.

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