Why I Hate the Feedback Sandwich and What to do About It

I’m going to take a big bite out of the “feedback sandwich.” Mmmm.

If you’re not familiar with the “feedback sandwich,” it’s a method popularized by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson in the book, The One Minute Manager. It basically goes like this”

Praise first, then correct, then praise again.

And I hate it.

Problem with Feedback Sandwich

Here’s what the “feedback sandwich” often sounds like:

Leader: “I need to correct a behavior or point out something wrong that someone is doing. What should I do? I know…”

Five minutes later…

Leader: “Jim, you are a valuable member of our organization and are doing a bang up job with the new sales reports.”

Receiving Tough Feedback | John Miller’s Advice to Mark Sieverkropp

So what would you do if someone you looked up to told you everything you did wrong when you reached out to him?

Maybe you’ve thought about emailing or calling this person for months or years. And you finally do. And then…

That’s what happened to Mark Sieverkropp recently when he reached out to someone he looked up to. But I don’t want to ruin the story, because it’s really good and there is a lot to learn from it.

So without further ado or explanation, take it away Mark.

Getting Tough Feedback - Mark Sieverkropp

I have been waiting several months to share this story. And I don’t believe there is any better place to share it than on Matt’s blog!

This past summer I was working on a project, Happen To Your Career, with Scott Barlow. (You may recognize that name from the fact that our very own Matt McWilliams was featured on our podcast). In the process of this, we were doing some marketing and contacting folks to ask for their help.