Interpret survey results fairly

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in Office Management,Workplace Communication

Q: We sent an internal survey to those who have used my department’s services. The results were mixed, but what bothers me is how many petty criticisms respondents made about trivial aspects of my unit’s performance. The big issues were hardly addressed. How can I get people to focus on what counts?

A: By labeling the results “petty” and “trivial,” you’re ignoring what’s most important. What you deem minor is major in the eyes of the people who count—your customers. Rather than complain that they didn’t address the areas you care about, treat their feedback seriously and make the improvements they suggest. Minor tweaking—in phone manners, for instance—can score a major victory.

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