Beth Fisher-Yoshida on Managing Negative Feedback

In Psychology Today, M.S. in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution director Beth Fisher-Yoshida explains the negative impact of receiving pessimistic feedback – and how to protect yourself against it.

She offers the following example. “You just heard about an opportunity you would like to pursue...You make the mistake of sharing this news with your friend and colleague, The Doubter. ‘You won’t make it, there is too much competition...’ When they finish their list of all the reasons why you won’t make it and should not even try, you are exhausted and deflated.”

“Negative feedback slows down change” and maintains the status quo, writes Fisher-Yoshida, “while positive feedback fuels the change by adding energy to the stimulus.” She says, “These reasons fueling the [negative] feedback are, more often than not, about them rather than you.”

She suggests avoiding taking these comments personally. “When we detach ourselves emotionally...we are more open to listening and learning.” If all else fails, think twice about eliciting feedback in the first place: “If you are not sure you can manage less than enthusiastic feedback, do not share.”

Read the rest of the article in Psychology Today.