Feedback it’s the breakfast (lunch and dinner) of champions
Don’t give a praise sandwich…
Mary Kay Ash gets credit for the approach: “Sandwich every bit of criticism between two heavy layers of praise.” (Fries apparently are optional.)
This is just not a good idea. Not only does it taste like crap, but it’s also really not effective.
…Try a feedback wrap insteadDon’t give a praise sandwich...it tastes like shit Click To Tweet
In his M3.0 approach, Jurgen Appelo offers up a much better recipe, the Feedback Wrap. Here’s how it works:
- Provide/describe your context. For example,
- “I was catching up on email in between Zoom meetings, feeling a bit rushed…”
- Offer your version of the “facts” – which are likely more your observations – what you’ve seen and/or heard
- Strive to be free of judgments, labels, diagnoses, opinions, etc.
- Be direct, timely, and specific – Avoid “Six months ago, I don’t remember all the details, but…”
- Make it a description of what you think happened
- Express your emotions/feelings (yep, you might need to express a bit of vulnerability)
- It’s not about being nice, or sugar-coating
- Don’t stifle any intensity
- Reveal the impact the person’s behavior had on you
- Explore needs, values, express empathy
- “What I hope to get…”
- “What I need…”
- And then explore what the recipient needs. “What do you need?” (And then actively listen.)
- Then explore options together
- Create connections and understanding
- For example: “Here’s what is working for me…” and “What needs some work in my opinion…” (instead of “this is good” and “this is bad”)
- Find out what the other person needs – maybe they are struggling to express their underlying needs.
- Find out what you can do to help
Sometimes all it takes are small adjustments to make a big difference – on both sides of the table.
In her book From Contempt to Curiosity, Caitlin Walker offers a similar approach:
- Evidence: a description of what happened without any judgment, i.e., observable behavior
- Inference: what you thought about what had happened or what it meant to you
- Impact: The effect this combination of observable behavior and your inferences had on you
More from Caitlin here:
On the Receiving Side a Praise Sandwich?
- “Here’s what I’m hearing you observed…. And what that meant to you…. And this had the impact of…. Am I getting it?”
- And “What would you like to happen?”
- #Workout: How Improvement Dialogues Beat Coaching for Your Workplace
- The Recipe for a Successful Feedback Wrap
- Ditch The Praise Sandwich, Make Feedback Wraps