Meeting Room Hacks Episode 2 - Gather Feedback More Efficiently

Some of the best choices made come out of avoiding groupthink. Having multiple people debate the same problem poses several advantages: a greater number of solutions, different points of view to underline their faults. But you need rigour.

Bridging Feedback & Brainstorming Techniques

Brainstorming tools have a specific way of dealing with creativity - they encourage solitary thought and diminish social pressure. Once everyone is comfortable, true discussions begin - and what is feedback gathering but a form of brainstorming?

The purpose of gathering feedback is to improve something - someone’s skills, the object of discussion (a product/ service), a process. If you see this from a problem-solving perspective, there should be no differences between the two. Feedback IS brainstorming.

Today’s Meeting Room Hack, then, is this - treat every round of feedback as if it were a brainstorming session. Here are a two tools and ideas to guide you:

1. Question Sheets

Say you are a speaker at an important meeting. You have rehearsed everything, thought about questions that might arise. Then, mid-presentation, someone raises their hand, asks a question and breaks your flow. You might forget where you were going with your train of thought. You might have disengaged the crowd to engage an individual.

Prepare for this unwelcome situation with pre-printed sheets of paper on which your guests are invited to jot down their questions, ideas and objections. Gather all of them after you’re done (or ask someone to do it for you) and take a coffee break. While everyone is busy with smalltalk, you get to pore over their issues and group them in larger categories. Then tackle them as a whole, addressing each concern from a broader perspective.

You will have encouraged everyone to speak up without interrupting you AND avoided not hearing valid points from people who aren’t comfortable speaking in public.

2. Encourage Problem-Making

On your Question Sheets, make a request of your own - a way of exacerbating an issue with the presentation or its object. You can then take these suggestions and reverse them or use them as discussion-boosters when the feedback session seems to be running dry. You might even discover some insights you would have never got to via conventional approaches.

3. Postpone the discussion

Ask everyone involved to pitch in with their feedback in your follow-up email. This saves you precious meeting time and gives you more flexibility in answering and researching.

How do you take feedback? Leave a comment below or contact us via the in-app chat support system.

Adrian, MO, YArooms

Written on Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016



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