A “feedback sandwich” can help you to organize feedback in a way that makes it more effective and easier to deliver. It consists of one specific criticism served between two specific praises.
The main ingredient of a feedback sandwich is constructive criticism. When it is well-timed, well-targeted, and well-said, constructive criticism can help direct growth, provide motivation, and alleviate confusion. Supervision also offers many opportunities for genuine praise, especially when praise is understood as a way of reinforcing desired behavior or behavior that is a step closer to the goal. By offering “keep behaviors,” or praise, at the same time you're offering “change behaviors,” or criticism, you demonstrate that you see performance strengths as well as performance deficits.
Keep in mind that there are times when praise and criticism can and should be given independently. Any technique that is applied too rigidly will eventually feel inauthentic.
Adapted from “Serving Up the Feedback Sandwich.”
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