OOPS,the shit sandwich again

I don’t know if everyone is familiar with the terminology “shit sandwich” and what the pseudonym entails. As managers we are often put in a position to tackle bad performance. The shit sandwich, or the praise sandwich, as some ironically call it, is a technique for giving feedback that involves sandwiching critical, truthful feedback (the shit) in between two slices of praise. Recently I have read a book written by Ben Horowitz about building a business when there are not easy answers. Ben kindly described in his book that if you plan to eat shit,don’t nibble ,so in another words ….be careful with your actions and words as they are the most powerful weapons. The popular shit sandwich is often the most effective technique when you have to give feedback to your employees especially the ones who keep falling on the slope. The basic about the shit sandwich technique is that managers often open up the feedback with an openly manner astute when start complementing their employee (the slice of bread),then they give them the most difficult ,or awful message in a tantalising way( the shit) and wrap up by reminding how much they value employee strength. The trailblazer of the sandwich process has its pros and cons nevertheless it works well when it provides with good quality slices of bread by telling employee how good they are at their job, how much you value their input and so forth. Theoretically when the slices of bread are thick the sandwich has not the same effect on the employee like the one served on the thin layer of bread.

The shit sandwich has neither cutting structure nor a design layout. The key of giving feedback should lie on the counter that we must elevate ourselves beyond the basic of the shit sandwich. Usually if you love complementing people with the shit stuff they already pre empty the box of shit is coming …So recap for a minute..Are we all, shitty managers by default? If you are in the business for a while you already are developing a good strategic tool in giving employees feedback based on behaviour and performance. Being proactive as a manager give you the hand up that you don’t need to manipulate employees’ feelings at all. In UK ,we do tend to sugar coat problems when they occur and often the coating process enlarge the keyhole of introducing real problems into a new scenario. It is very important not to clown people in front of their peers and the message transmitted should be direct and not mean as often the message is lost in interpretation .Believe me or not but from my own experience I treat all my employees as unique individuals and feedback becomes not one to fit for all but your approach. I found often junior managers tend to be bossy and mean in their approach and they often think this is the best strategy to intimidate someone as they hold the power. Well my folks if you continue to give a shit sandwich (you are already in a shitty pothole) I just advice you that you are really obtuse in your thinking. The world has been tremendously changed since we used the basic and raw performance feedback term and we should be very open about giving feedback. Watering down feedback doesn’t help anyone and often this bring an ill attitude to the employee performance. Doing so will defeat your purpose because when done properly, feedback is a dialogue not a monologue.

Anyway ,guys better to be direct and have an open communication rather than being harsh and tighten up own conclusion. Shift sandwiches shift the purpose so be really careful how you handle people. To be a manager requires great qualities but being diplomatic requires style :).


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