Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I tell my students/clients not to avoid conflict (as many pastors do) but rather get the “bad news first”… and then the good news, because your mood will be most affected by the last thing you heard. Research confirms this as cited in this article in Psychology Today magazine.
Overall, we like to get improving sequences of news (bad news first) because the last thing you hear affects you mood. However, it turns out that being a little unsettled can be motivating. So, if you are motivated to act on the bad feedback by making changes in your behavior, it is better to focus on what is wrong, and to hear it last.