Feedback Guts, Part 2


I wanted to splay my fingers over my eyes while opening the document that had the results of my President’s Performance Feedback survey. There were two questions (see all of the survey questions in this post) that I wasn’t sure what the survey would say.

This question in particular: With respect to the chapter president’s responsibilities, in what areas do you think the president needs to improve?

Survey said:

  • She is doing so many things. I think she’s doing too many things at once.
  • It often feels that Judy’s perspective of our chapter and her long term planning approach is that we are comparable to the size of her firm. It simply isn’t. Some of the strategic activities, which are valuable in and of themselves, could be better tailored to our size of organization.
  • I can’t think of anything in particular. Judy has done a good job of keeping on top of both the chapter’s activities and national requirements.
  • Sometimes pushes too hard. After a volunteer agrees to do one task, Judy sometimes tacks on three or four additional tasks that the volunteer never knew they were agreeing to.

You know how at work, you want to know along the way how your manager is going to rate you during your performance appraisal? That there shouldn’t be any surprises; that you should know whether you are going to be rated low or high? Reading the responses to that survey question—that’s how I felt about some of the responses.

Should someone on the team have told me they thought I was doing too many things at once?

Should someone have told me that they think some of our strategies could have been better tailored to our chapter?

If I was pushing too hard and tacking on additional tasks, should someone have spoken up and tell me to back off?

This survey was anonymous, so I can’t go back to whomever said I was tacking on additional tasks and ask them to give me an example of when I did that.

I’m going to have to think about that. Yes, it was an anonymous survey, but if I truly want to learn from this, maybe I could ask the director if she wouldn’t mind posing my questions/my requests for clarification to the respondents and see if she can get an example or two about that. I’ll have to give that some thought. (Just so you know, for the most part, I do change my ways based on feedback I’ve gotten; I don’t just blow it off.)

Unless I get clarification or examples of when I tacked on additional tasks, this is what I think of:

We were trying new things. In the course of trying out new things, things come up that you didn’t think about, or maybe couldn’t anticipate. So when you started trying the new things, something came up that meant you had to take it a step further, or try a different tactic, or see what would happen if you did this or see what would happen if you did that.

And I wonder this: Did the respondent mean me personally was trying to do too many things at once? Or did that person mean that I was having the team/the chapter do too many things at once? I’m just not sure how to interpret that survey response.

Dear Reader, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts . . . should I see if I can get clarification or examples of what I did (anonymously of course, as I wouldn’t want to put anyone on the spot)? What do you think?





2 thoughts on “Feedback Guts, Part 2

  1. So it’s interesting – you get 100% approval and some pointers to some things that weren’t perfect. I would take a lot of satisfaction in a result like that. Time for a group chat, maybe?


    • Thanks David. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that I didn’t get ragged on, so yeah, the results have been satisfying (I’m not coming across negatively as I blog about this, am I?). Group chat? Not sure about group chat (that might take more guts!), but I could certainly do with some e-mailed examples/clarifications. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

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