False Listening

December 7, 2010 at 6:00 PM 1 comment

Do you ever get the same survey from a company or organization, year after year? Does it make you mad?

It should.

When you get the same survey again and again, it means the company is not listening. They’re just measuring your answers against some yearly target.

Listening has to evolve and deepen, or else it’s not listening. I was reminded of this while reading a post by Leadership Freak on Improvisational Listening. The nub:

I think most people seldom if ever feel they’ve been truly heard. I believe one of your greatest powers is the power to affirm another through listening.

When I began helping the Portland Development Commission, our first survey covered ground that the participants were used to, since we needed to start somewhere. The members practically threw tomatoes at us. We planned two more surveys, and everyone was convinced they’d be terrible.

In fact, members got a shock: the 2nd survey took into account what we learned from the first. The third was smarter than the second. As a result, they bought into the process and made it theirs. Because we were seen to be listening and learning, we earned the commitment of the members.

So, if you’re tempted to throw out the same old survey, remember what your respondents are thinking: “If you’re not listening, then why am I speaking to you?”

If listening doesn’t change the relationship, it’s not a real relationship.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

Power from the People NPS for Entire Industries

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. NPS for Entire Industries «  |  December 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    […] my previous post, I wrote about how the Portland software community was engaged through successive surveys, […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at www.fuseinsight.com


"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters



%d bloggers like this: