Published by Antoinette Siu on 24 Apr 2012 at 02:07 pm
Wiser member William Now conducts a survey with the Wiser community. Read about his findings in this blog post.
124 members of the Wiser community recently took part in a survey titled “What Physical, Emotional, and Social Tools Do We Need As Individuals to Help Us Transform How We Are Living on the Planet?” Of that group, roughly 25 actually completed the survey. Statistically, for survey taking, that is a nice response rate. Answers were distributed fairly equally from the U.S., South Africa, the UK, Australia, and Canada.
Why did I conduct this survey? And what did I learn?
I conducted the survey to answer a very practical question. I’m creating a website that offers life-skills training and intelligent conversation to help individuals cope and thrive in the midst of environmental and social change. It draws on a lifetime of personal experiences, professional training, and skills. I’ve been developing heart-based, science-based, hopeful tools, exercises, and conversations for almost three years. The survey was my reality check to see if people really want such resources.
What did I learn? Some amazing and some fairly intimate things actually.
Before I reveal my discoveries, let me provide a caveat. This survey has some useful diagnostic tools, but it’s not been analyzed statistically. I am not a survey expert. And I accidentally factored in some responses from another community of folks whom I also respect a great deal. I did my best to factor their responses out so I could provide as clear a picture as possible of the Wiser community in particular. Nonetheless, I believe the survey paints an important picture.
The survey response that moved me most deeply answered the following question:
“Do you wrestle with guilt or feelings of inadequacy about what you can do to remedy our world problems? Would you value hearing/discussing new perspectives?”
85% of all respondents said either: (1) This has value. I might use it if I learned more about it, or (2) I need this! I want to practice this on a frequent basis. All the males weighed in on this one, though most selected choice #2. Many females weighed in as well, but almost all of them emphatically chose #1. Two write-in comments speak eloquently to this piece. I need to heal the hurt from within. I want to learn to accept and love myself unconditionally.
The clear winner for all the questions was:
“Your body, mind, and emotions work together in an integrated fashion. If you want to be high functioning, adaptive, resilient, focused, and happy–you need to work with all three. Would you like to try some simple, effective models and techniques to strengthen each of these areas?”
This graph says it all:
What is surprising about this one is that there are all kinds of coaches, skills training, and self-empowerment services out there in the consumer “ether”. My hunch is there still must be some issues in peoples’ lives that they haven’t been able to master, but maybe there is no model to integrate it all into their daily practice.
Here was another surprising result. With regards to what I thought would be a provocative and emotionally charged issue… (Maybe it was!)
“Do you think it’s important to train and prepare for potential social or environmental emergencies?”
80% of the respondents either said: (1) “tell me more” or (2) “I absolutely need this.” And most interestingly, out of half of all the women who responded–every one chose the emphatic response (#2).
The final observation I’d like to share speaks to our community’s level of social sophistication. I personally experience this community to be exceptional at expressing themselves. Yet 93% of the respondents answered “yes” to the following question:
“Would you like to learn communication skills that can help you speak from the heart with people that are DIFFERENT than you… to create bridges with politicians, CEOs, religious groups, and political groups?”
Here’s an actionable tag-on regarding the sophisticated needs of this community. There was a common thread in the answers that suggests that folks are looking for collaborative experiential activities. So while this community seems highly intellectual and is adept at connecting via a digital experience, there may be a desire to find ways to create and share some physical experiences together.
I also had some feedback from folks who felt like my survey answers forced them into a box where they were uncomfortable with the answers. One respondent in particular would have liked the opportunity to specifically identify what kind of support she was looking for. I’ve redesigned the survey to address these concerns. If anyone would like a first or second shot at the survey, you can take it here.
Summary: This survey write-in response provides a great summary for what I sense the survey takers want from the Wiser experience. [I want] “a community that I can thrive within–offering my greatest gifts and receiving those of others.”
Connect with William here or leave a comment below.
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