Newsletter – July 24, 2019

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Watch out for the iceberg!

Hi friends,

Imagine this: you’re the field director of a statewide LGBTQ organization and you’ve spent the last two months drafting and refining your team’s goals for the following year. You’ve consulted with your staff and executive director, and you feel like you’ve finally landed in a good place. Two days before your ED plans to bring the goals to the Board for approval, a field organizer approaches you and says, “I’m not sure that the goals are achievable.” After you probe a bit, she shares that the goal you’ve set for turning out Latinx people (a community of which you’re not a part) at Lobby Days is tokenizing, and that goes against your organization’s mission and the intention of the work.

Whether you’re a field director, chief of staff, or school principal—if you’ve ever been given challenging feedback from someone you manage on a decision you were responsible for making, this situation probably feels familiar.


At TMC, this is what we’d call a DICEY issue. DICEY feedback is anything related to diversity, inclusion, culture, equity, or you (yes, you!). DICEY feedback is often a clue that tells you there’s an “iceberg,” where the problem on the surface is attached to a larger, multi-layered, and complex issue.

So, how can you figure out if there’s an iceberg? Read on to learn how to spot DICEY feedback, and listen for the concern beneath the concern. Then, stay tuned for our upcoming article about how to respond to DICEY feedback.

This is Part Four of our feedback series. Missed the last three? Review our CSAW framework for corrective feedback, how to give better praise, and our best feedback tips.

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