This post has now been moved to my new blog site ‘Open Brackets’ – see link below.
I believe that the sandwich method is designed to make it easier for the provider of the feedback to speak their piece. I agree wholeheartedly that it is not an effective way to deliver feedback. The most effective way to deliver feedback is directly. Feedback that is delivered in a timely manner will always be the most effective method.
Thanks for reading the post and making a comment. There seem to be a lot of people who think the sandwich method is ineffective yet it is also so accepted as good practice by many others – puzzling! By the way I enjoy reading your blog.
Great post- as a relatively new and inexperienced manager, my take on it is that the “sandwich” method is for the benefit of the manager rather than the employee. It can be very confronting to provide staff with honest, critical (hopefully constructive!) feedback and sugar coating with positives helps you get through the conversation. As it happens, in my experience I found it did indeed end up watering down the critical feedback as well as the positive, which is not an ideal outcome for the employee. Thanks for the great article!
Hi Greg what a useful example you use in your comment. It demonstrates how despite the great intentions the use of the feedback sandwich can end up with both the sender and receiver of the feedback being in a worse position than before the feedback was delivered. As a newish manager you have already learned a valuable lesson that will then help you approach the situation more effectively next time. Let me know how you go!
I think a lot has to do with knowing your subordinate.. as any good manager should. Some people might benefit from a bit of sandwich “schmooze”, others might prefer a more direct approach. The secret is tact. But using the sandwich approach tends to suggest conflict avoidence a bit on the part of the manager; managers are human too.
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