You just received an email from your boss.
“I would like to see you after lunch today, to discuss your performance”.
For many of you, you won’t be too worried about this, but for others you begin to set the stage in your mind. You can see yourself walking into the office, sitting down, and the boss offers you a cup of coffee. You know exactly where this is going.
Out comes the compliment sandwich. The boss starts with, “that project you turned in, has had some outstanding results, we really appreciate the hard work you put in, on that job”.
Your heart begins to race a bit, because you know that whatever follows a compliment is usually not something you want to hear unprepared. The boss may be on you for your lack of performance on this current job, or that you had been late to the office a few times the previous week. Whatever the criticism is, its sandwiched between two compliments. During this conversation, you have pretty much forgotten the compliments all together, and are only focusing on the stuff in the middle.
Years ago this method of bringing attention to negative behavior was the next best way to communicate.
People have come accustomed to this, and the compliments are usually a stretch anyway. When we want to draw attention to poor performance, behaviors, or anything else, just do it. As a manager or leader, it’s your responsibility to give continuous feedback. That way, you avoid that ominous call into the office. Giving feedback on a regular basis is what is expected in today’s fast-paced environment. If you’ve waited all quarter or year to give feedback on something, it isn’t even fresh in the minds of either you or the person you want to correct.
PIXAR, the animated picture production company, has come up with a ‘plussing’ concept. When you dole out criticism, it is your responsibility and expectation, to provide a solution as well. Give that person a way to improve, not just tell them they need to improve. At Pinnacle Sales, we train leaders on how to connect with a proven John Maxwell system, and building employee relationships with a Ziglar Legacy program.
When you use that compliment sandwich, your employees are bracing for negativity every time they hear a compliment. What if you sincerely want to compliment them? You want them to hear that, and only that. Stop using this technique in your feedback loops. And where did they get the name anyway? You don’t call a regular sandwich a ‘bread sandwich’! To make even more sense; in a sandwich, all the good stuff is in the middle, it’s not negative.
Your feedback system needs to be; continuous, in the moment, sincere, clear & specific, and it should be a conversation on how “we” can make this better. Let Pinnacle Sales help you learn to not only communicate with your employees and team, but also to connect.
Employee engagement can increase dramatically with better feedback loops. The benefits to more engaged employees are astounding. Click here to watch a 90-second video on that subject.
Pinnacle Sales is an executive coaching firm, dedicated to continuous improvement. We can help you in building these systems internally to improve your overall employee satisfaction and motivation! If you want higher productivity, it is a lot easier with highly motivated teams.
Contact us for additional information