Making Sense of Workshop Feedback

One of the questions I put on my questionnaire after workshops is, “What was your least favourite part of this workshop?”

It’s fascinating to go through the answers of this question. Being sure to take some deep breaths and ground myself and ensure I really take the information in. So many of these responses are deeply insightful for me and help me fine-tune both structure and content of workshops. A few people suggesting I double the prices of the workshops. I’m slowly building up to that whilst keeping it accessible!

Whilst almost all of the feedback is positive, sometimes the feedback is more challenging, “As a couple, we felt excluded from the exercises. This is a workshop for singles!” I was a bit distressed when I read that one about a year ago. I do feel I’ve taken this feedback and similar on board considerably and adjusted accordingly. Another wrote, “It’s called Getting Conscious With Kink but it was far more conscious than it was kink as my partner didn’t want to journey with me deeply” and I learn more about how to facilitate both giver and receiver in the partner exercises to maximise the potential experience for everybody.

So much of the work we do in these circles is about how we interact with others and how we are able to respond to each other. Sometimes people click better than others. I explore ways of ensuring people are well suited and feel safe.

I also had to become much more explicit in my workshop description as to whether or not I would be working within the gender binary or not. I rarely do work in this model but I received a disproportionate amount of feedback from men who didn’t want to work with other men and so now it’s much clearer in the workshop descriptions as to whether that will be expected or not.

Sometimes the feedback make me laugh a little, e.g. two participants from the same workshop giving contradictory feedback about six months ago: “We could have spent more time doing the exercises and less time talking about them” versus, “I didn’t like how someone in the group was rushing us forward into exercises that we hadn’t fully discussed yet”. I learn more about navigation and how to achieve a more perfect balance. One person (at a catered full day workshop) wrote that we should cater for carnivores instead of serving only vegan food.

I understand people are sometimes shy to give feedback (especially when it contains criticisms) so I use a free survey-hosting website and allow anonymous feedback. It’s probably the greatest tool I have in making the workshops stronger and more cohesive and thereby creating feelings of genuine safety which allow people to go deeper.

I would love to hear from other workshop facilitators and teachers as to how you navigate through the feedback maze. Meanwhile, I live and learn.

Love, Seani (quotes above printed with permission)

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