Casting my vote for feedback

I’ve been working in Guernsey this week, and they held their election on Wednesday.  An election is basically the most public manifestation of the basic human need for feedback; with an election, the politicians find out whether the people think they have been doing a good job or not.  (Nicholas Sarkozy take note.  In Guernsey, the father of the house lost his seat, while the Chief Minister just scraped in.  Ouch.)  We all need to know whether what we are doing is – for a start – the right thing.  We then like to know whether it is appreciated, or making a difference, or valued – or even noticed.  I hand out feedback forms after workshops, so that I can learn how to improve for the next one.  (People are pretty sick of feedback forms, so I sweeten the deal by giving a pound to charity for each form returned to me.)

At a workshops for Guernsey MLROs this week, I asked them what they wanted from their FIU and their regulator.  “Feedback!” they chorused.  Staff need to know from their MLRO that they are spotting and reporting the right things.  MLROs need to know from their Board that they are implementing an effective and proportionate AML/CFT regime, and from their FIU that they – like their own staff – are spotting and reporting the right things.  FIUs need to know from their law enforcement partners that they are collecting and passing on the right intelligence.  And law enforcement agencies need to know from the public that they are pursuing and prosecuting the right crimes.  It all takes time and resources, but – as anyone who has ever had any dealings with children knows – it is crucial to the learning and compliance process.  We all need to know we’re getting it right – it’s why we bloggers blog (with an implicit plea for comments) rather than simply posting our thoughts on a static website.  And it’s certainly an easier way of getting feedback than standing outside a Guernsey polling booth in the wind, rain and hail.

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6 Responses to Casting my vote for feedback

  1. Graham Thomas says:

    Hi Susan

    I couldn’t agree more. Feedback is such an important thing but it is so often overlooked. Then there is the difference between giving positive feedback (which is usually nice and easy) and the somewhat trickier “constructive” feedback ….. otherwise known as areas for improvement, things to work on or maybe even an actual direct criticism or complaint !!

    I never seem to have much problem getting feedback as an auditor, usually along the lines that I’m being too harsh or petty but I did recently have a concern raised that my audit outcomes were too soft !!

    My feedback for you remains the same though, keep up the good work. I really enjoy the combination of the blog and monthly newsletter … well written, easy to read and always containing something to learn from and / or useful reminders of all things AML.

    Best wishes


    • Hello Graham
      You are absolutely right – and constructive feedback is so valuable. I find that it stings a little at first, but improves over time!
      Thank you for your feedback – I am delighted to know that I am providing information that is of use, as it makes the effort completely worthwhile.
      Best wishes from Susan

  2. Paul Coleman says:


    My feedback to you is similar to the previous comment. Keep up the good work. I look forward to receiving your thoughts. Unfortunately I don’t always have time to respond, but I always think about the implications of your thoughts in the context of my work.

  3. Hello Paul
    I don’t know what you mean: you are an absolute star at commenting, and it is always appreciated.
    I am very pleased that you find our discussions helpful in your daily work – I couldn’t ask for anything more.
    Best wishes from Susan

  4. I agree feedback is very important. What is the use of reporting if we don’t know if it ever will be used. And if there were any results from the info we gave. People want to know they are being taken serious. If they feel they are not, after a while they won’t care anymore. And feedback will stop.
    You are certainly getting it right with your workshops and your blog! I’m giving myself a chocolate as reward now for commenting 😉

  5. It’s only natural, isn’t it, to want to know that what you are doing is worthwhile. I know that it can be difficult to give specific feedback on reporting situations, but seeing the pleasure and sense of well-being when staff are shown how their efforts have been instrumental in securing a conviction is worth all the hard work. And I think chocolate rewards should be investigated more seriously!
    Best wishes from Susan

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