|Business Management Information|
Forget The Sandwich Technique
Do you remember being told to use the "sandwich" techniquewhen you needed to reprimand someone? Let me give you anexample:
"Fred, I'm really pleased with how you've been progressingsince you joined us and you're doing a great job. Howeveryou're not getting your reports in on time and we're missingdeadlines. I'd like you to tighten up a bit on this.Anyway,thanks for all you've done so far and keep up thegoodwork."
Have you ever said something along these lines? You probablyneeded Fred to sort out his reporting but you didn't wantto upset or demoralise him. The only problem is that Fredmaynot get the message. The importance of it may be seriouslydiluted.
He may hear it as, "Fred, you're doing a brilliant job, youjust need to sort out the reporting bit but it's not reallythat important."
What happens then is, Fred continues to fail with hisreports.
The "sandwich" technique doesn't work, it lets you off thehook and it's mealy mouthed. Be direct with your people andthey'll respect you more for it. You are also much morelikely to get a change in behaviour.
If you are unhappy with some aspect of an employee'sperformance then you need to tell them so. The skill is indoing it in a way that's effective and doesn't lower themorale of the individual.
Firstly, it's not acceptable to speak to your people justwhen you're unhappy about something. Tell them the good newsas well. As Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson say intheir book The One Minute Manager - "Catch people doingsomething right" and tell them about it.
Some managers and employers still have this daft notion thatif people are doing things right then that's what they'repaid for and they don't need complimented. Ask almost any employee in Industries throughout the worldand they'll tell you that they don't feel appreciated bytheir manager.
When you notice someone doing something you do like, tellthem about it. When you notice them doing something youdon't like, tell them about it. Whether it's good news orbad, the same rules apply.
Do it as soon as possible. Acknowledgement of a job welldone is not much good six months later. Also, if you don'timmediately call someone's attention to something you arenot happy about, then they'll assume it's okay. Either thator they'll think you didn't notice or you don't care.Do it in private. Why is it that some managers still feelit's okay to reprimand someone in front of their colleagues?Even the mildest rebuke can have a negative effect onmorale.
When you speak to the person use "I" messages. Say thingslike "I liked the way you did that" or "I think there isanother way to do that."
Avoid "You" messages such as "You're doing great." That cancome across as patronising or insincere. "You're doing thatall wrong" may cause conflict, lower morale and may not sortthe problem.
When your giving feedback, focus on one or two things.You'll only confuse the person if you run off a whole listof attributes or misdemeanours.
Be specific about job behaviour, focus on what the persondid or didn't do, don't make a personal attack.Allow time for the message to sink in and allow the personto respond. You can then seek agreement as to what willhappen in the future. If the person does not agree to takecorrective action then you need to move to another level.When they do agree to take corrective action then make surethat you monitor it and give encouraging feedback.
Being direct with your people is better for you, better forthem and better for you business, so save your "sandwiches"for lunchtime.
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