What’s your first reaction when someone criticises you or your work?
Is it to put up a brick wall of defence so you no longer hear or take on anymore of the negativity thrown your way?
What if there was a more positive approach to sharing your feedback, in a way that benefited both parties?
Let’s consider what would happen differently, if that someone (perhaps your boss or work colleague) sandwiched the negative feedback inside two compliments.
Would you be more open to receiving the constructive criticism?
In most cases, yes!
As long as the person delivering the information was genuine, of course.
This is what I call a Love Sandwich.
We all, at some points in our life, need to deliver some not so lovely feedback to friends, family, or work colleagues.
And most of the time, it’s not fun.
Most of the time, it gets quite the negative response, and ends up leaving both parties feeling pretty darn crappy.
People LOVE compliments.
They like to know you value them and see their strengths as much as you notice their weaknesses.
So why not tell them?
Why serve up a platter of ear-bashing criticisms that are only going to leave them feeling as though they are unworthy and not good enough?
What does a person do, when they believe they are hopeless?
They start to believe what you tell them.
And if you’re trying to create a productive workplace, I doubt that’s what you want to be doing – reaffirming to someone that they’ll never live up to expectations.
No. You want to be creating good workplace moral.
You want to be creating harmonious relationships and productivity.
Of course you do.
So instead, try the Love Sandwich.
Open the conversation with a positive compliment, such as ‘I’m really grateful that you decided to wash the dishes honey.’
Follow it up with the constructive feedback, ie. ‘I noticed there was still marks on some of the plates, maybe you could use a different detergent next time.’
During the feedback – the middle bit of the sandwich – always make sure you give examples of how they could do it differently, so they have something to work with.
We want to be solution focused here, not problem focused.
Then finish on a positive, such as: ‘It really helps me out when you do the dishes, so thankyou.’
In short: Sandwich the constructive feedback between two positive statements or compliments.
When you do this, the person is more receptive to hearing what you’re saying.
If you start with a negative, you lose that person’s rapport and if you don’t have that person’s rapport then they’re not going to take on the rest of what you say.
All you’ll be doing is creating a negative interaction.
Dish out the Love Sandwiches regularly, and watch how your interactions change and in turn, people start to change for the better.
People WILL live up to your expectations.
So see them as brilliant, and they will be brilliant!
Your loving words are the most powerful way to create happiness and harmony in the home and in the office.