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  • John Macedo

# THE SH*T SANDWICH

Updated: Mar 19

Learn how to give a bad feedback to your workers in a way that nobody gets hurt.



Most builders/supervisors often avoid this part because they feel their corrective feedback might offend workers and will get them on the defensive. As a result, such supervisors must refrain from doing criticism while providing feedback.



Tip:

In some cases, the opposite can also happen. Maybe the foreman is already used to being seen as a “bad guy”. As such, he just lays the feedback in a disrespectful or reckless manner. I will make a parenthesis here and tell you that this is actually the worst possible way to get things done.



Why? Because it would most probably cause workers to feel resentful about the job which will most definitely decrease their performance level and also bring many other possible problems.


I'm bad? - No I'm Not - I will show bad.

(but I'm trying) - (this isn't fair) - (I don't care anymore)


Luckily, there is a way to handle the situation of giving critical feedback without looking like the bad guy. It is called the “Feedback Sandwich” (AKA the Sh*t Sandwich) and refers to mixing criticism with compliments.


So, what does actually mean? For instance, if you were not satisfied with the worker’s speed used to carry out his task, use a format of compliment -> criticism -> compliment to tell him that. This way, he will focus on the compliment and see the criticism as words of encouragement to perform better.


Example:


Good thing, Bad thing, Good thing

Hi, Steve! You’re a good worker, mate! You’re on time and you perform well pretty much every day. You would be even better if you didn’t use your phone this much. It feels like you’re not paying attention sometimes or your head is elsewhere. Other than that, you’re a good guy and it’s awesome to have you on the team. Thanks for that!”


Doesn't feel like

STOP CHECKING YOUR PHONE!

does it?


You want to see it in action? Maybe have a look at this clip from The Office.


Its a display of brutal kindness isnt it?

Did you notices how the respect is always kept?




Another tip: Be careful when providing a bad feedback for a good thing.


If your worker was proactive and was trying to do something good that turned out to be not so good (or even bad), you MUST properly acknowledge the intention otherwise you will most probably kill the chance of this worker to be greater in the future.

Thanks for washing the machine, but you forgot to check the side toolbox.


"It was good, but could have been better" is you letting the perfect being the enemy of the good.




Bonus:

HOW TO GIVE A GOOD FEEDBACK.


The firsts step for giving a good feedback is giving it. Yes, I'm serious. Many supervisors, foremen and managers simply don't have the habit of appreciating and acknowledging your workers from time to time. But not only your workers, but the people in your life.







A compliment is a gift. And empathy is not a sign of weakness, but exacly the oposite

Being your friend is great, mate. So thanks. (cartoon)


How hard is that?

I'm exited that you learned this skill. This is one of the first steps to great leadership. learn more about it here



Now, if you master the first step, make sure you tell them what exacly made you happy. What is the aspect of their performance that made you happy. Letting them know the specifics will allow them to have a better understaing of your metrics to avaliate good work and guide them in their grow.


Jeff, you're are the most reliable worker we have, mate. I really appreciate it.

(now jeff knows you value reliability)

Conclusion:


Next time around fixing attitudes up, remember: A good since soft bread - then the serious filling - then another slice of that good bread.

A good old sh*t sandwich will fix your problems.


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