From The Negotiation Academy Blog.
Consensual dispute resolution (CDR) methods like mediation and negotiation are ever popular among students around the world. Hundreds of students compete in university internal selection rounds to represent their university in the numerous national and international competitions. The energy is unbelievable!
Unfortunately, this rising generation of CDR enthusiasts is often faced with a less than helpful environment and even, coming to these competitions, at times has to tolerate a roar of deconstructive, aggressive and often unknowledgeable feedback.
… To just share a few sad examples of the surprising feedback I have heard being delivered. It breaks my heart to see how these so-called experts destroy students despite them doing the exact right thing!!
Dear students, if you come from a country with a nascent ADR system and therefore lack of expertise, you need to know a few things if you have ever experienced this or if you go for competitions in the future:
This leaves us with the question now:
How do you tell good from bad feedback?
When you are young and learning, it is often hard to tell an expert from a pretense, and constructive criticism from self-righteous rambling.
Two things will help you:
First, build your own expertise. Don’t simply rely on what people are telling you but go to the right resources. E.g. if you have taken the Master Negotiator Course you will know better than most senior practitioners what an interest is and how to use it in a mediation, or how it’s not about “squeezing” but about building value. Experience does not equal expertise in this field, so get the expertise yourself and do not rely on what others portray as experience (because it’s valid for their world only).
And second, remember that a feedback from a real professional will always be constructive, calm, encouraging and especially pointing out the way you can improve and not the way you suck. Listen for those only, and waste no thought on the others! If you get feedback in an accusatory, loud, finger-pointing manner, “this is not how it’s done”, “this was the worst thing I’ve ever seen” -kind of tone, SAFELY IGNORE IT and definitely not let it get to you or stop you from what you do or cast any doubt on your skills or performance!
This article originally appeared in the April 1997 issue of Consensus, a newspaper published jointly by the Consensus Building Institute and the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program.More and more, proponents suggest...By Edward Scher