There’s a smelly old way of giving feedback that we commonly refer to as the s*** sandwich. When you have something negative to tell someone, you start and end with something positive and insert the awful thing in the middle. This doesn’t work, really. People giving the feedback twist themselves in knots to cover up their discomfort. People receiving the feedback sense the game and tune out.
Let’s just not.
Instead let’s give honest, direct, and specific feedback. And instead of hiding them, let’s use our emotions naturally, respectfully, and appropriately.
To give feedback well, give them an open-faced sandwich. Using a neutral tone, start with a description of what you didn’t like. Next explain why you didn’t like it, pause to let them feel it, then genuinely reaffirm your belief in their capacity to do better.
So much better.
In your corner,
PS: If you can’t genuinely reaffirm you belief in them, talk it out with someone you trust until you can. It’s important.
PPS: As always, you need not have a title to use this or any of these leadership tools.