I Don’t Want No Bad News – but I am Curious about This News: Our Polarized Reactions to Negative Feedback

I Don’t Want No Bad News – but I am Curious about This News: Our Polarized Reactions to Negative Feedback

These initial summary statements regarding the pull between resistance to receiving the negative feedback and curiosity regarding the content of this feedback can be framed as a polarity. Here is what my polarity-based deliberations might look like if mapped out on a polarity management chart:

 

With this framing completed, we turn to what happens when we try to maximize the benefits of either side at the expense of the other side. In my case, the maximization of resistance to the negative feedback would lead to a shutting down of all new learning. I would be self-fulfilling my self-image of someone who is too old to learn and would become less effective as a leader of my graduate school.

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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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