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Making Priorities Known with Polling Software

TurningPoint brings together people from all walks of life.

Peter DeMarco is the founder and president of Priority Thinking, a consulting firm that devotes the majority of its client support between executive coaching and organizational development. DeMarco had used audience response systems at other organizations in the past and realized soon after he started his business that he needed to find the right one for the company.

DeMarco's team employs TurningPoint interactive polling software for everything from basic questions such as, "Do you agree with this comment?" to use of a simple likert scale. Priority Thinking goes deeper when they have participants name top strategic priorities and subsequently walk through each one and discuss if they have participant support. He enjoys the moments when the group's "undiscussables" are revealed because TurningPoint polling allows people to express those issues anonymously. "People, in general, really enjoy they can trust the anonymity of TurningPoint and reveal their true beliefs without fear of the boss in the room. Even if he's a great boss, they just believe they can be more transparent."

"Using this audience response system draws out the real issues," he continued. "But to resolve issues, it requires appropriate confrontations by the members of the group and TurningPoint gets the process going." Participants enjoy the discussion of demographics. "When we do the splits on tenure, sex, job type, or geographic location, it is very interesting for the audience to see the profile on the questions change; especially within larger groups, when sliced by the demographic categories," DeMarco stated.

Peter depends heavily on well-designed questions to subtly expose conflicted feelings among participating members, revealing the individual's and group's emotional state. But, instead of just analyzing behaviors like many other consulting firms, Priority Thinking focuses on developing a proper understanding of human nature. "The tool has helped us draw out the deeper philosophical framework that is operating in people versus just operating at an emotional level."