Fear Of Opinions: Learning Through Feedback

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Fear of people's opinions (FOPO) was introduced in Part 1 here.

For Part 2, let's look long and hard at how fear of what people could think, do or say will impact how someone may respond to feedback.

In multiple areas (teaching, coaching, business, person life)

I've seen first hand how the introduction of feedback creates a defensiveness and a deniability that is not productive for learning and growth.

Note: I said INTRODUCTION with purpose, because much of our poor feedback delivery/consumption begins without hearing it yet.

Feedback Defensiveness: Usually starts as soon as the feedback is being delivered, read through body language, and doesn't totally disappear if the feedback is positive. This fixed mindset trait holds us back from learning because we are preparing to refute the feedback before understanding it. This can present as anger, humour, sadness, and others.

Feedback Deniability: This sounds like, "I love the criticism, keep it coming, it's good for me", or something along those lines. HOWEVER, it looks like removing people who provide that criticism from their orbit, never applying the feedback, or looping into feedback defensiveness. This is especially dangerous in leaders as it slowly and methodically dismantles learning and growth culture in groups.

Both of these fall right in line with the fixed mindset traits that Carol Dweck discussed in her Mindset book, and both are detrimental to individual and group growth.

The remedy? Mindfulness, breath work, authenticity and ego checks.


We really dive into delivering feedback in our High Performance Coaching and Leadership Course.

We also have an entire module on receiving feedback more effectively in our Boosting Resilience Launchpad Training.

35 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All