Event professionals, membership directors and executive directors know this well. Member feedback is often conflicting. Feedback often happens in the heat of the moment. Feedback often a result of high emotion, positive or negative. Feedback many times comes from those who do not represent core members. Feedback can be hard to take. Feedback can be off the wall i.e. ‘have we ever thought about expanding membership to 8-year olds?’
Tara Sophia Mohr says that feedback says much more about the person giving it than it says about us, the receiver. Not that we want to ignore and discount feedback. Situational feedback is helpful for fixing problems in the moment. I can’t get into your website, we can’t find a session at the conference or I can’t hear the presenter of this webinar. Thank goodness someone spoke up, now we can fix this! Feedback can also tell us about the preferences of those we wish to serve. I would not, however, allow feedback to guide strategic planning.
For sure, listen to members. Have thoughtful conversations with them. Observe them. Place yourself in their shoes. Let them evaluate and build upon new ideas. In regards to feedback, though, when you are in the heat of the moment, or recalling the heat of the moment, and every neuron in your mind is screaming to react, think: it is just feedback.