User Feedback on Style Matters
We make constant improvements on Style Matters Online. We send feedback surveys to all users of the online version of Style Matters to assist in this. This brought a steady rise in ratings of user satisfaction and perceived accuracy of score reports from 2016 to 2019. After that things leveled off - with ratings that high there's little room to rise!
From April, 2020, to September, 2021, 660 respondents replied to our request for feedback:
Earlier, from May to November, 2019, we received 87 responses.
Primary benefits of taking Style Matters
Many respondents also gave textual replies to our question: What's the primary benefit you received from your experience with Style Matters? Here is a sampling:
"Understanding the difference between "calm" and "stormy" styles. Seeing how I switch my approach depending on the context and intensity."
"Your noticing that my shift of 6 points (cooperative to compromise) when I move from calm to storm may confuse my partner sheds light on his frequent complaint that I quit [when actually I'm not, I'm just trying to be realistic about what we are capable of at that moment]."
"Yes, use more of a direct approach and more clarity when expressing my thoughts in stormy situations. Report gives great advice on how to do that."
"I appreciated the distinctions between Calm and Storm styles [and order] as it provides a better way of understanding where I go as conflict/tension escalates."
"Listing the pros and cons of my storm and calm styles was interesting and informative."
"The results boosted my confidence and sense of acceptability around being more direct/assertive in the future."
"The Avoiding style is hard for me, I don't want to walk away from a disagreement without resolution, so it was interesting to see how that can be a positive outcome."
"Although I am not excited about doing so, the advise to practice the styles I am less comfortable with is clearly practical. It would be advantageous to diversify, and likely confidence-building as well."
"I need to do less avoiding in heated conflicts."
"Learned more about myself and suggested it to my parents to help with their conflict needs."
"There is no one style that fits all. Need to adapt to situation, and leverage other styles.
"Some really good perspective on myself through the scores I received, including my flexibility/malleability depending on circumstances (which was both interesting and reassuring)."
"Keeping in mind that this assessment is just a snap shot, but depending on the situation I sometimes compromise too much and I need to work to prevent myself from doing that."
"I love the idea that conflict resolution is situational and how the instrument embraces that idea by separating “calm” and “storm” phrases.
"Not to piss someone off before you figure out what their actual/ underlying problem is."
"I did this as part of a Healthcare Management degree class assignment. Insight is always good when it comes to leadership. This allowed to realize how much I have grown and worked on myself."
"It was used for a team building exercise at my job and it helped a lot."
"Time for internal reflection."
"Gave me insights to better understanding my conflict style and where I could put in an effort to be more effective when faced with conflicts."
"Learning about how myself and others react to conflict and strategies of how to deal with others who have different styles than myself.:
"Identifying different conflict styles between my partner and I, and helping us to understand how best to engage with the other when either of us is upset."
"Great comparison with TKI assessment."
"I should get better at avoiding petty or unnecessary conflicts and focus on putting my energy toward issues that matter a lot. Don't over-engage.
"Telling my team how I respond to conflict."
"Recognizing that my "go to" style isn't always the best for every situation."
"Be more directive and be sure to defend others and strongly articulate my vision, principles, and provide needed direction for my team."
"Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of my conflict style."
"Consider using avoidance more in times where task/relationship concerns are lower."
"Gave me info to think about—skills to hone in on especially with the pros & cons."
"The critique of excessive dependence on a strong style is insightful."
"I focused on a particular person I need to have a difficult conversation with. It helped."
"Which style I lean on under stress."
"Gained better understanding as to whom am I as a negotiator."
"The explanation that helped me realize my primary style is both good and not-so-good. The contrast helps."
"Interesting to learn that my cooperative style doesn't always work well with someone who has an avoidance style. Things don't get accomplished that way!"
"I now recognize my shortcomings and where i need to tone down my style when working with others."
"Recognition of my style and how to improve."
"Ability to discuss, in more detail, the way I address conflict."
"I learned a lot about myself."
"Sense of strengths and weaknesses with conflict engagement and resolution."
"Gave me a clear affirmation of why I handle conflict the way I handle it."
Judging from their responses in the current batch of feedback, we estimate that 10-12% of users of Style Matters Online find the experience disappointing or unhelpful. These respondents tend not to make written comments. When the do, a theme is frustration with answering questions in the abstract and a wish to respond to specific situations. Others say that they disagreed with the results. A third category of frustration is about the formatting of the score report. "Overwhelming", wrote one user.
We weigh these comments carefully, as some of our biggest improvements have resulted from them!