1. Love this idea, “As long as people know that you are both on the same page (that you want them to be successful), they will accept the feedback” … couldn’t agree more. Honesty is the best policy and wanting people to succeed. Well said!

  2. You have hit the nail on the head. I have always told my bosses/evaluators to let me know when I’m doing something wrong and I won’t be offended by anything they say. I think I used more colorful language when I said it actually. But, the point is, if I’m allowed to go on and on doing something wrong or sub par it will become habit forming and harder to reverse. And, why wouldn’t I want to be the best I can be?

  3. Interesting post. I come from a different cultural experience, ( New York City/Business ) where being direct is the norm. For years I thought the “sandwich” technique was smoke and mirrors, disingenuous and easily foreseeable. I’ve since learned that reactions to feedback are largely visceral. So though we can all see the sandwich coming, it still tastes better going down than the raw meat.

    There’s another interesting benefit. Delivering unpackaged criticism is easy. Fools with a Twitter account do it every day. Just taking the effort to make the sandwich conveys that I see what you’re doing well and where you need improvement. This is one of the markers of someone who really wants you to succeed.

  4. Jennifer Trott

    This article really resonated with me. Sometimes as teachers who want to give students the freedom to choose their work and choose their path, we have a really difficult time telling the student when their work is substandard or just plain bad. BUT I feel like we live in an era where everything is based on emotions and feelings, and people are too easily crushed Its nice to read an article that supports having tough conversations when they are about improvement.

  5. Thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I wish all faculty members, including “bosses,” could be so open to constructive feedback. We could provide such powerful models for students. I connected strongly to the Todd Whittaker quote you cited. Too many “leaders” do not realize how allowing “bad” behavior degrades collegiality, destroys trust, and undermines any hope for a collaborative culture.

  6. You definitely practice what you preach here. I have always appreciated your constructive criticism and have learned and grown from it. I think that although this approach sometimes bruises the ego initially, in the end it just creates better results. When praise and support is offered, it is genuine and sincere. Thanks!

  7. Kadange V. Mvula

    True, good leaders are those that praise their subordinates when they do things correctly, and guide them when they go wrong lest they don’t learn. Therefore, leaders in the field of education should strive to help their respective subordinates succeed in their career by being open and sincere to them.

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