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A Feedback Technique: The Sandwich

in Feedback Fri May 15, 2009 2:15 pm
by elemke • 26 Posts

Giving feedback is the backbone of good training and supervision. Provide feedback on behaviour you want the learner to keep and behaviour you want the learner to change.
Well-targeted criticism is tailored to a particular trainee performing a particular skill. Always ask yourself: "What is the most important teaching point right now?" Always be sure that the skill you are addressing is in the context of the training.

1. Offer “the plate” for your sandwich - ask:

May I give you some feedback?

2. The “first layer” of the sandwich: Compliment:
Describe specific successful behaviour
Describe the impact of the behaviour: “Here’s what happened.”

3. The “centre” of the sandwich: “Coach”. Use the following four steps:
Describe specific inappropriate behaviour
Describe the impact of the behaviour: “Here’s what happened.”
Make a suggestion with the reason what the suggestion would accomplish
Make a suggestion with the reason what problem the suggestion would prevent
(Discuss next steps. What can you do about this? How can I help you?)

4. The “last layer” of the sandwich: Encourage:
Make an overall positive comment about the person, his/her abilities, etc.
Be specific, describe the impact.

5. The “final dressing” for the sandwich - ask:
Any questions – about understanding - or any suggestions?

In general
Always: Be specific, make suggestions. Ask.
Avoid ineffectiveness – in case if:
Praise becomes trivial or just-for-sake and serves no function.
Praise is substantial and obscures the criticism
- and avoid to produce extremely negative emotional states wherein one believes one is utterly incompetent. Do not use this repeatedly for the same issue.
Trainees get tuned in to the praise-criticism-praise pattern.

However - think about this: Coaching isn't the solution to every situation. Sometimes coaching is the appropriate solution, sometimes an immediate advice, order or dismissal is required.

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