"This is great! I’ve got a bunch of thoughts from my participants...now what do I do with them?"
This is a great question! We’ve got some helpful hints outlined below, which can help guide you through commenting on top thoughts and maximize the value of the exchange!
Acknowledge - Acknowledge the courage and interest that the participant demonstrated in sharing their thought (this isn’t easy for some people!).
eg. “Thank you for sharing this great thought. I'll be sure to keep this in mind as we move forward.”
Be Curious - Show curiosity! If there’s a thought that really made you pause and consider, be sincere and open - keep the conversation going, even after the exchange!
eg. “I would love to understand this thought better. If this was your thought or you starred this idea, I'd love to have a conversation about it. Please reach out to me directly.”
Challenge - Maybe a thought isn’t aligned with the needs or goals of the organization at the time of the exchange. This doesn’t mean that the thought should be ignored!
eg. “This is an interesting thought. I can understand the desire but don't feel that this is going to meet the needs of our organization at this time. I think that our focus at this time is better spent on our current initiatives.”
Appreciate Insight - Show that people should freely share their most innovative or insightful ideas - even if they’re “against the grain” or unconventional. There’s no telling what form a good idea or thought will take on, or where one will turn up!
eg. “This thought brings up so many new ideas for me! I love the creativity of the thought and appreciate the 'outside the box' thinking.”