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Making the Grade

Posted by Shannon Gunderman on June 18, 2015 at 9:49 AM

The importance of obtaining feedback on your workshop performance cannot be overstated. Improvement is never realized in a vacuum. To be successful and to continue to succeed, one must be willing to accept advice, counsel, and criticism from others. This is especially true for risk workshop facilitators. One thing that you can do to solicit this feedback and to continue to improve (one of the part of the ISO 31000 framework) your risk identification process is to survey your workshop participants.

Did they enjoy the process? Did they feel that they learned something valuable and practical from the experience? Did they feel that the workshop was an effective use of their time? Getting answers to such questions will provide you with the necessary insights that will enable you to hone your facilitation skills, improve each subsequent workshop and further identity risks within your entity.

After a risk workshop has concluded, I ask participants to complete a brief, anonymous evaluation. In the evaluation, I pose the following questions:

  • Did you gain new skills and knowledge that apply to your job?
  • Was the information presented in a clear and well-organized manner?
  • How would you rate the facilitator’s knowledge of the subject matter?
  • Were sufficient opportunities provided for participants to be involved and ask questions?
  • How well did the facilitator answer questions?
  • How would you rate the facilitator’s presentation style and delivery?
  • What suggestions do you have for improving the workshop?

            Below each question the participant can select from various descriptive choices (be specific) ; additional space is also provided for participants to elaborate on their rating. The questions above may not be ideal for your participants. However at the least you should ask questions in three categories:

  1. workshop content
  2. facilitator effectiveness
  3. suggestions for improvement

Items 1 and 2 will help you to identify the general strengths and weaknesses of both the workshop content and your facilitating approach.  Item 3 will allow participants to provide you with additional insights not covered in the prepared questions. Additionally, your survey should be succinct and easy to complete so keep the number of questions you ask to a minimum. Also, when you send your workshop participants your survey, be sure to tell them that it is short and will not take them very long to complete. This will encourage them to complete the survey.

 In addition to requesting feedback from the participants, I also ask for input from my fellow enterprise risk management team-members who assist me. They always provide enlightening observations because they are not distracted by having to facilitate or actively participate and can therefore give their full attention to observing how you perform and how the participants respond.

By investing a little time to obtain and analyze feedback you receive, you will be able to improve the outcomes of your workshops and will “make the grade” as an effective facilitator! Do you solicit feedback from your meetings? If so what kind and how do you use it to continually improve? 


Tim Wiseman

July 14, 2015 at 3:45 PM

Great information. Too many times these types of risk identification workshops end up being a culminating point, and it is only through feedback, deliberately pursued, that the process can be improved.