I hope you’ve had a few opportunities to practice the feedback sandwich that we discussed in the last post. It’s a powerful tool to keep in the kit. Until you get the hang of it, it’s okay that it may feel a bit scripted. Some people get concerned that anyone that has gone through the training or has familiarity with the method may experience the sandwich as just a poorly veiled disapproval.
Again this takes perfecting. Take your time and keep working at it. Of course, don’t just conjure praise to disguise a verbal lashing. It’s important that you are sincere about everything you say. Especially the positive comments!
Another way to keep your observations and suggestions positive is serve something of an “open face” feedback sandwich. Yes, I made that name up, but the approach isn’t anything new. And it goes like this.
It’s really Presentation 101. For example, you might say to your web designer:
“Let’s consider having less text and more images on the homepage of our website. Doing so would give visitors an immediate glimpse at our programs as well as the audience we serve. Plus simplifying the tabs menu keeps people from experiencing ‘decision paralysis’ which has been shown to actually drive away traffic. You have expert coding knowledge so I’m sure you’ll have some great ideas and ways that we can manage this kind of makeover.”
You’ll notice that there isn’t any critique in this at all! Just solution-based forward motion. It’s that easy! …um, well, eventually. In the beginning, you may be surprised to learn how often you dwell on the negative. Again, practice, practice, practice. Not only will your team feel better but you will too when you acknowledge how many talented and dedicated people you’re surrounded by!
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