Differences helps leaders bring people together by highlighting areas of division and agreement.
While called Differences, this tool is designed to highlight both areas of division and of agreement in an exchange. The content of the thoughts in an exchange often mirrors known dynamics in an organization or community, and as such can bring these dynamics out into the open where they can be addressed.
The Differences tool on the Results Dashboard lets you explore groups of participants who rated thoughts differently, see what characteristics they share, and understand the things they agree on.
At the top of the page is an overview of the level of alignment in your Exchange and the number of Differences topics the software has identified.
Note: If your Exchange had high alignment, there may not be any Differences topics to view. Sometimes disparate groups do not appear in the data.
Further down the page you can see the Differences topics themselves. Each topic is given a title based on the content of the thoughts the groups rated differently. The Participants column provides a comparison of the size of each group; the Common ground column shows a summary of the thoughts that the groups rated similarly (both high and low ratings), and the Diffferences column provides a summary of the ideas that one group rated high and the other low and vice versa.
Click “VIEW MORE” to dig in deeper on each topic. This will open a report where you can explore how the different groups responded to your survey questions (potentially allowing you to zoom in on demographic differences); and see the individuals thoughts and how they were rated by each group.
What are Different ratings?
The Differences tab provides a list of thoughts that people rated differently. These thoughts show division.
At the top of the screen is a Venn diagram showing the approximate size of each sub-group (Group A and Group B). Side A/Side B on either side of the page show thoughts that one group rated as important and the other group rated as unimportant. Below each thought is the average rating assigned to it by each sub-group, Group A scores are on the bottom left and Group B scores are on the bottom right.
When exploring the Side A/SideB thoughts:
- Read through the list to determine if there is a clear content pattern.
- Consider why participants might have rated these thoughts differently and if the differences reflect a known dynamic in the organization.
- Think about whether the thoughts speak to a similar underlying value or interest.
Other things to know:
- Use the filter at the top of the page to explore other Differences groups.
- Two columns of thoughts suggest thoughts that may be oppositional.
What are Common ratings?
The Common ratings show a list of thoughts that the sub-groups rated the same (either high or low). These thoughts show agreement.
When exploring the Common ratings thoughts:
- Again, read through the list to see if there are thoughts with overlapping content.
- Consider how these thoughts align with the leadership’s perspective and if they can be used to create action steps from the exchange.
- And again, think about whether the thoughts speak to a similar underlying value or interest.
Other things to know:
- The Common ratings (low) thoughts can be fragmented thoughts that sank to the bottom during starring. However, you will sometimes find a gem that highlights an unfavorable direction or perspective. Because of that, you should always review these thoughts.
Demographics in Differences
If you asked survey or demographic questions in your exchange, then you will have the extra option to explore these in Differences. Consider the following when exploring how participation broke down across the Differences tool:
- If the percentages are the same for both groups then it means no group is over or under-represented.
- Finding group differences can mean that the Differences thoughts are more or less important to that group.
- This helps guide your action or communication plan after the exchange by highlighting specific groups that might benefit from tailored communication.
What if the Differences tab is empty?
Sometimes the Differences tab is empty. That means the algorithm didn’t pick up starring patterns, most likely because the exchange topic wasn’t divisive.
Differences is one of the most useful tools in the Discover dashboard because it picks up dynamics that aren’t always visible when you read the top thoughts or explore the themes. Leaders can address these dynamics by creating a plan that uses common-interest thoughts to bring people together. This way, any actions they want to take get fast buy-in and can be implemented even faster.
If you have any questions or need a hand, don't hesitate to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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