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Fresh Tracks

Facilitating Adventurous Conversations

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Welcome to the Fresh Tracks team building blog. This is a growing collection of team development news, opinions, tips and advice. We would love your input so feel free to comment or get in touch.


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Feedback Fatigue – Is Just One Question Best?

Requests for feedback into my inbox have risen considerably recently. Invariably an email or a text will request my opinion for a product, service or even just a single phone call! This is frustrating and ironically can turn me off the organisation concerned.

That said, I firmly believe that feedback can drive up performance. Sites like Trustpilot, Tripadvisor and Google’s reviews should be enabling the consumer to have a voice, louder than the advertising and the cut-price offers that certain unscrupulous airlines, hoteliers and retailers have relied upon to attract naïve customers. We also know that asking just one question is more effective than asking several. That question being:

Would you recommend this product to a friend?

Also known as the net promoter score, this single question invariably provokes more people to respond and generates more honest and therefore accurate data. Why then do organisations persist asking multiple questions regarding insignificant interactions such as a single telephone call?

Employers are no different, every year we expect our people to complete a detailed employee engagement survey, ignoring the fact that results will be skewed by:

– Fear that negative feedback will be career limiting

– Only engaged staff will complete the survey, disengaged staff disengage from the process

– Disbelief that the process in anonymous

– Frustration that previous years surveys have had little impact

Wouldn’t it be better to ask just one question? Like the net promoter score for consumers, a single question that clearly indicates whether people are engaged. But what is that question?

Some mimic the net promoter score by asking:

‘Would you recommend working here to a friend?’

This works well until the role or the organisation is specialist. In which case, unless your family and friends are also biomedical scientists or property tax accountants then the question has limited impact.

We could ask:

‘Do you feel valued by the organisation?’


‘Do you feel good about the work you do?’


‘Are you proud to work here?’


‘Do you often consider working elsewhere?’

All good questions but do any of them really get to the truth? I’m not sure they do. Engagement is fluid, variable and hard if not impossible to measure by a questionnaire. Maybe we shouldn’t rely quite so much on feedback tools and instead, engage with people one to one, have a conversation, ask whatever question seems appropriate and demonstrate that we care enough to give our time.

Why Great Leaders Say No

We seem to be living through a time when elected leaders at least, have succeeded by telling people what they want to hear.

Is this really leadership? We’d say it’s not. True leadership requires the courage and wisdom to say out loud, the truths that people don’t want to hear. It’s not fun, it upsets people and makes the leader unpopular. In the short term for sure and often, for much longer.


2 Steps to Overcoming the Time Poor Trap

More than ever it seems that increasing numbers of us are overwhelmed by an ever-growing and never-ending to-do list.

Just as we seem to get some time to catch up, urgent requests pings into our inbox and yet another well-intentioned day is high-jacked. For many of us, this has become our normal state, thereby creating more urgent requests as critical tasks slip through, only to pop up again a few days later as urgent priorities.

Space for Adventure

Ranulph Fiennes, Ben Fogle and Dervla Murphy live lives filled with adventure. Whilst the closest many of us get is a visit to Cotswold Outdoors, during our lunch hour.

We have every intention of adding another adventure to our existence, yet we rarely seem to find the time, weather and suitable location to wear the Goretex we bought during that optimistic lunch break. Acquiring the kit is the easy bit, the greater challenge is finding a few days to escape to the wild.


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