Dot Collector Frequently Asked Questions

Dots FAQs

Meeting FAQs


Dots FAQs

1. What is a dot? A dot is an in-the-moment observation about a person (versus a larger synthesis of what they’re like). Any one dot is not a judgment or ruling, and instead is simply a piece of feedback for the recipient to consider. Over time dots may form patterns that help paint the overall picture of a person. A dot is just a dot; what matters is how they add up.

2. When should I dot? You should give a dot any time you have feedback for someone. There’s no wrong time to dot! Practically, to help form the habit, we generally advise that you try to give at least 10 dots a week (or 2 dots a day) in and outside of meetings. For guidance on the best time to dot, check out “Is it always best to dot in real-time?

3. Is it always best to dot in real-time? Generally the best time to dot is in the moment. Sharing your feedback openly and in real-time ensures that you don’t lose the thought, and allows those receiving the feedback to decide how to respond to it on the fly. That said, if you find that it’s difficult to always capture your thoughts in real time, be sure to set aside some time after meetings or at the end of the day to record all your feedback. 

4. There are too many attributes to choose from. Don’t worry about learning and using all the attributes, especially as you get started. If it’s helpful, browse the attributes categories and familiarize yourself with the higher level “roll-up” attributes within them. Start by narrowing your focus and dotting primarily on these. As you use the tool more, your “vocabulary” will naturally grow. 

5. How do I capture my feedback well in dots? Generally, good feedback is real-time, specific, honest, and not emotional or retaliatory. While not required, the best dots usually include a brief comment to help the recipient contextualize the piece of feedback. Remember a dot doesn’t have to be a conclusion--low-confidence dots in-the-moment are great too.

6. How should I choose a rating for my dot? First, try not to overcomplicate it.  As a quick means of expressing your perception, you can use the "thumbs up" (auto-populates an 8 for "great"), the "thumbs down" or a “loop” (auto-populates a 3 for "poor"), or assign a middle score of 5 for "ok." We also offer the following general guidance for the full 1-10 scale: 10 = Ninja, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = At the bar, 6 = Close to the bar, 5 = Shows signs of capability, 4 = Questionable/iffy, 3 = Poor, 2 = Bad, and 1 = Unacceptable. 

7. Can I edit dots I gave someone? You may be able to edit a dot you have given depending on your company or group’s settings for this feature. Note that you cannot edit the dot recipient or delete your dot completely, but you can edit the attributes, rating, and comments associated with your dot. The time window in which you can edit dots is also specified by your organization (e.g. this could range from a 4-hour dotting window to no time limit for editing dots). If enabled, on Desktop, go to your Dots Feed within your About Me & Others profile. Use the Given/Received toggle to view the dots you’ve given. You’ll see the “Edit” button under the dot recipient’s name. On Mobile, under your Dots tab, similarly use the Given/Received toggle to view the dots you’ve given. Click on the dot you’d like to edit and tap “Edit.” 

8. Can I delete dots I gave someone? No, as a user you cannot delete dots after you submit them, though you can edit them. See “Can I edit dots I gave someone?” for more information. However, note that Principles has the ability to delete dots on the backend and we will do so on a case by case basis as defined by your company or group’s policies. Please reach out to support@principles.com with your request and associated dot details.  

9. Can I react to a dot to convey whether I agree or disagree with the feedback? Depending on your company or group’s settings for this feature, you may be able to indicate whether you agree or disagree with a piece of feedback you have received within Dot Collector. Note that you can only react to dots where you are the dot recipient. To do this, find the agree / disagree selections by clicking on a dot event in your dots feed. Dot reactions can also be found by clicking on a dot within the dot matrix of a meeting. 

 

Meeting FAQs

1. Terminology

  • Responsible Party (RP): Someone who is responsible for ensuring that a specific goal is accomplished.

  • Meeting Navigator: Someone who is a delegate for the Meeting RP. The Meeting Navigator will be able to edit the meeting on the RPs behalf with the same kind of access and controls as the RP.

  • Believability: The likelihood that a person’s opinion is right on a given topic / subject. We generally define a “believable person” as someone who has repeatedly and successfully accomplished the thing in question - i.e. who has a strong track record - and who also has great explanations of their approach when probed. For example, if you have a medical issue, a doctor is likely to be more “believable” than your friend in giving you advice.

  • Nubby: A question or an issue is “nubby” when it elicits different perspectives or disagreements.

2. When should I create a meeting? You can create a dot collector meeting for any meeting. We suggest creating a meeting in the tool for meetings that are longer than 30 minutes and/or involve more than three participants.

3. What’s the difference between a Meeting Navigator and a Meeting RP? The Meeting RP is the person who is responsible for the meeting. The Meeting RP has the same ability to manage the meeting as the Meeting Navigator and in many cases they will be the same person. In other cases, the person responsible for the meeting (the RP) may delegate the meeting creation and management to someone else (the Meeting Navigator). 

4. I’m in a meeting but can’t answer any of the questions. First, check to see that you have joined the meeting, as it’s possible to view a meeting that you are not a participant of. If you have not yet joined a meeting, you will see a “Join Meeting” button at the top of the meeting window. If you do not see the “Join Meeting” button and you are not showing up as a meeting participant, check that the meeting hasn’t been “locked for joining” by the meeting owner. To do so, on desktop, click on the “Actions” dropdown and see if the Permissions have been set to “Locked.” In this case, you will need to reach out to the meeting owner directly to be added to the meeting. On mobile, search for the meeting number. Before clicking into the meeting, select the arrow to expand the meeting. If the meeting is locked, you will see a lock symbol with the word “Locked.” 

5. What does it mean when a meeting is “locked” and how do I do it?  A meeting can be locked for joining on desktop only. This permission can only be set by the Meeting RP or Meeting Navigator. Once set, users will not be able to join the meeting unless they are added as participants by the RP or Navigator. Note that they can still search for and view details of the meeting in the Dot Collector. You can set a meeting as “locked” after you created it, though once set as locked, this cannot be undone. While in a meeting, as the RP or Navigator, “lock” a meeting by clicking on the “Actions” dropdown and selecting “Meeting Settings.” Check the box next to “Lock Joining” in the permissions section of the window. Others will know that a meeting is “locked” under the Meeting Settings. 

6. What does it mean when a meeting is “confidential” and how do I do it? A meeting can be set as confidential on desktop only. This permission can only be set by the Meeting RP or Meeting Navigator. Once set, users will not be able to search for, join, or view details of the meeting unless invited by the RP or Navigator. Dots given and received in confidential meetings will only be visible to participants of that meeting in the AboutMe & Others. You can set a meeting as “confidential” after you created it, though once set as confidential, this cannot be undone. While in a meeting, as the RP or Navigator, set a meeting as “confidential” by clicking on the “Actions” dropdown and selecting “Meeting Settings.” Check the box next to “Confidential” in the permissions section of the window. Others will know that a meeting is “confidential” under the Meeting Settings. 

7. What does it mean when question responses are listed as “Standard” vs “w/ Believability”?  Standard question responses are just the question responses aggregated (e.g., 4 people said “Yes” and 2 people said “No”). Believability-weighted question responses calculate the aggregated view based on the believability of the respondents, in an effort to get a decision that is based on who is most likely to be right, not only what everyone thinks. So, answers from those with lower believability impact the aggregate less than those with high believability. By default, question responses are weighted by each participant’s General Believability.  When a question is added, a user can specify a specific attribute to be used to believability weight that question. You can see the attribute used to believability weight the question at the top right of the question answer or response views.

8. What does it mean to select a “Belv. Attribute” (Believability Attribute) when creating a question? Dot Collector displays question responses as standard aggregates and as believability-weighted. Believability-weighted question responses calculate the aggregated view based on the believability of the respondents. By default, question responses are weighted by each participant’s General Believability. If the question owner specifies a believability attribute, the responses will be weighted according to each participant’s believability for that specific attribute. You can see the attribute used to believability weight the question at the top right of the question answer or response views. An example of when you may consider using this feature is in a product design brainstorm, as the meeting owner, you may want to poll the room for their input on a feature and may believability-weigh responses on “Creativity” in order to account for the respondents’ expertise. 

9. How is meeting “nubbiness” calculated in Meeting Tracker? “Nubbiness” is a measure of the amount of disagreement in a meeting. Meeting nubbiness ranges from Very Nubby, Nubby, Somewhat Nubby to Less Nubby and Not Nubby. Nubbiness is calculated based on “nubby questions” and “nubby dots.” Dots are considered to be “nubby” when two people exchange negative dots, and/or when meeting participants can’t agree on how someone performed in the meeting (e.g. mix of positive and negative dots given to an individual).  Questions are considered to be “nubby” when the opinions of meeting participants appear to be split between a few different perspectives.

10. How is the meeting “importance” calculated in Meeting Tracker? Importance is calculated based on participants’ believability and their roles in the organization. The calculation also takes into account the participants’ level of engagement as measured by dot exchanges and question responses. Importance ranges from Critical, Very Important, Important to Typical and Unremarkable. The most important meetings (i.e. “Critical” meetings) are those that have many participants who are managers and/or participants who have high believability, and where the meeting has had high volumes of dotting and polling activity. Meetings with lower importance (i.e. “Unremarkable” meetings) are those where every participant is an individual contributor and also has really low believability regardless of activity level. Somewhere in between are meetings that have many participants with high believability and/or management responsibilities, but low or no levels activity via dots and questions.

11. Is there a character limit when creating questions and multiple choice options? Question text fields have a 400 character limit and multiple-choice text fields have a 4000 character limit.

12. Can I edit a question after it’s added to a meeting? It depends. A Meeting RP or Navigator can edit a question text field only after it's published and before anyone has answered the question. However, they cannot edit the question type (e.g. change from freeform to multiple choice) or delete the question once it’s published. To edit a question, click the Actions dropdown menu, select Meeting Settings, and choose the question you’d like to edit under Published questions (note that the question will appear grayed out but you can still click on it and edit the question text field). This functionality is currently not available on mobile.

13. Can I delete a question after it’s added to a meeting? No, once questions are published they cannot be deleted. 

14. Can I delete a meeting once it’s created? No, once a meeting is created it cannot be deleted.

15. Why can’t I see all the questions in the meeting? Unless you are the Meeting RP of the Navigator, you need to answer questions in the order they were added, and you can’t view subsequent questions until you’ve answered all the previous ones. 

16. Can I edit my question responses after I submit them? Yes, but note that the edited responses will appear with an asterisk in the responses feed. To edit your response:

  • On desktop, navigate to the question you want to change and click “Edit” in the top left corner of the question view. Make your edits and re-submit your response.
  • On mobile, navigate to the question you want to change and tap “Edit Answer” in the bottom right corner of the question view. Make your edits and tap done.

17. Can I leave a meeting if I joined by accident? Yes. To do so, navigate to the Actions dropdown menu on desktop or mobile, and select “Leave Meeting.” 

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18. I just joined a meeting but it’s not showing up at the top of my Meetings list.
By default, meetings in your meetings list are organized chronologically by meeting start date (most recent first). If someone created a meeting in advance with a future start date, it may appear higher in your list of meetings. If you’re having trouble finding a meeting, try the search functionality. 

19. How can I edit meeting details (e.g. Meeting RP, Meeting Navigator) after the meeting is created? Only the Meeting RP and the Navigator can edit meeting details. You can edit the meeting title, RP, meeting date, and permissions (with the exception of changing confidentiality if the meeting is already set as such).

  • On desktop, navigate to the Actions dropdown menu and select Meeting Settings. Make your changes and click “Save Meeting.”
  • On mobile, tap the meeting actions ellipsis (three-dots icon in the top right) and click “Edit Meeting.” Make your changes and tap “Save.” 

20. How do I copy or “clone” a meeting? This functionality is currently available only on desktop. To clone an existing meeting, find the meeting in your meetings list, click the ellipsis to the right of the meeting row, and select “Clone Meeting.” You can also clone a meeting from within the meeting by navigating to the Actions dropdown menu and selecting “Clone Meeting.” Once you select Clone Meeting, you will see the create meeting view populated with the same meeting details, participants, and questions as the meeting being cloned. You can edit any of these details before creating your new meeting. Note that the new meeting that you just cloned will be created with just one section regardless of how many sections the original meeting had. All questions will appear in the questions tab as draft questions, which you will need to publish to an active section should you want them to appear. 

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21. Can I export the data from a meeting? You may be able to export meeting data in Excel format depending on your company or group’s settings for this feature. This functionality is currently available only on desktop. If you have the necessary permissions, you still need to be the Meeting RP or the Navigator to export meeting data. To do so, find the meeting in your meetings list, click the ellipsis to the right of the meeting row, and select “Export Meeting to Excel.” You can also export a meeting from within the meeting by navigating to the Actions dropdown menu and selecting “Export Meeting to Excel.” Your Excel export will be organized in tabs. In the “Dots” tab, you can see details for all the dot exchanges in the meeting. Each question will have its own tab with related responses.


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22. When should I use the Meeting Tracker? We recommend reviewing the Meeting Tracker and associated data (dots and questions) at the end of each meeting to take a step back and reflect on the meeting in an objective way. As a participant, this can be useful as a way of “stepping above” the meeting and looking at the feedback in a more holistic, evidence-based way rather than over-focusing on any one individual “dot.” The Meeting Tracker can be particularly useful to managers who are looking to gauge how their team is engaging with each other and can be helpful to surface issues or questions to look into even when they can’t be present in the meeting themselves. 

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