Balancing the scales of power.

While there are lots of reasons to pursue feedback, we believe the practice operates at its highest level when it’s in service of equity.

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What does ‘in service of equity’ mean?

In practical terms, it means supporting your organization as you think through ways to involve clients in your proposed feedback process. We’ll also help you develop techniques, practices and norms that integrate client perspectives more broadly into organizational decision-making.

We do this because strong feedback systems acknowledge and confront issues of power and privilege. A high-quality feedback system doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Rather, it seeks to redress inequities in our society by shifting power to voices of those least heard—meaning those who have less economic power or have been historically marginalized due to structural racism, sexual and gender discrimination, or class position.

An equity-driven listening process:

  • Honors the perspectives of the people receiving services and values their insights and contributions.

  • Is inclusive as a process, and provides ways for clients to both co-participate in the feedback loop and become partners in organizational decision-making.

  • Pays attention to feedback at the margins, particularly from those who have been historically marginalized.

  • Creates an environment where clients and community members can challenge perceptions and practices of those who have been positioned to hold more power.

  • Marries comprehensive feedback practices with participatory decision-making approaches that give participants more say about organizational decisions.