What is Sandwich feedback purpose and application

Sandwich feedback

Often, out of fear that our opinion will not be well received, we do things we don’t want to or put up with certain behaviors that harm or hurt us. And vice versa, we may say things with little tact, without taking the other person into consideration. In this article we will provide you the information about Sandwich feedback.

We don’t have to accept behaviors that harm us, nor always have the same opinion as others. It’s OK to have discrepancies and express them, however sometimes it’s not just the “what” you say, but the “how” you say it. This detail is important, because it can make what you said come across differently to the other person.

More about Sandwich feedback

Sandwich feedback consists of using sincere praise, or the expression of positive feelings, before and after expressing something that may bother the interlocutor According to psychologist Elia Roca [1] , it is about offering an opinion in a positive way, and, above all, more resolute.

This technique allows you to mediate with the other person in a friendly way and be able to say what bothers you or makes you uncomfortable in their behavior without being aggressive , which makes an assertive communicative style possible . The sandwich technique takes place by dividing the feeback structure into three steps:

  1. Wording a sincere compliment : Express a genuine and true compliment about the other person clearly and objectively. Define the situation or comment on something positive about the other person.
  2. Behavior Change Request : Develop and explain the criticism or request to the other person.
  3. Expressing a positive feeling and proposing alternatives : finish by explaining a positive proposal, with words of encouragement and confidence.

That way, you comment something positive at the beginning and end of the interaction, and in the middle you express the criticism or request assertively, generating effective feedback. That’s why it’s called sandwich feedback , as it resembles the layers that make up this food.

Sandwich feedback example

In order for you to better understand the sandwich feedback step by step, we will show you a practical example :

  1. I understand that you had a bad day at university today, I’m sorry that you didn’t pass the test.
  2. But I don’t like how you said it. Please speak to me in a more respectful way.
  3. I know you will take it into consideration and try not to repeat it. Communicating with respect strengthens our relationship. I trust you.

What is sandwich feedback for

Sandwich feedback is a mindful and sensitive communication strategy that everyone can use to transform relationships between couples, friends, family, and co-workers.

Sandwich feedback is a feedback dynamic widely used by leaders to modify behavior based on positive reinforcement . This resource helps us to express a negative criticism without it being badly received by the other person. Furthermore, this communicative strategy is important because it emphasizes the positive without hiding the negative and allows you to express yourself in an adequate and healthy way.

Relationships are strengthened when we express needs and thrive when both people feel accepted. In this sense, the sandwich feedback takes into account tact and empathy when communicating. We all have problems to resolve in relationships, no matter how well the couple, friendships, family, etc. get along. For that reason, we need to have tough conversations , but with tact, empathy, and respect.

How to apply

Below, we will give you a series of important tips so that you know how to apply sandwich feedback correctly:

  • It is a type of assertive communication , in which we express our rights, opinions, ideas, needs and feelings consciously, clearly, honestly and sincerely, without hurting or harming others.
  • It is not intended to be false simply to silence others . As we specified in the first point, one of the bases of sandwich feedback is sincerity and not hiding important information, even if it may offend the interlocutor.
  • Requests tend to be better received than demands : people generally don’t like to feel that they are being ordered or told to do something.
  • It’s about expressing how you feel without accusing the other and speaking from the “me”: “I feel” instead of “you make me feel”.
  • Focus on a single problem : we can have many simultaneous problems that can be unbearable for us and for others. The best way to communicate is to share one issue at a time. Too many change requests at once makes them seem impossible to fulfill.
  • Try to propose alternatives to your criticism : when making a proposal for change or constructive criticism, try to propose alternatives to the person so that the whole burden of improving the relationship does not fall on him, and he can see the real possibility of improving the situation.
  • Tolerance is essential : try to act more reflectively and less reactively to comments to avoid tension and possible escalation of the problem. In this article you will see Intolerant people and their characteristics.
  • Try to keep a calm tone of voice and use pauses when necessary. It’s normal to be overwhelmed by screaming and loud voices. Furthermore, it is unproductive and offensive. If the conversation gets tense, take a break and resume when both parties are calmer.

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