During the summer camps that we organise in Cambodia, there has always been this one recurrent idea in all of our Workshops with the Project Managers: the Feedback Sandwich.
The point of the Feedback Sandwich was to create a constructive, thought-provoking and all-around positive feedback mechanism for our Camp cousellors. Managing over 200 of them means that there will be plenty of feedback to give in any given day. After reading many ideas and suggestions regarding ‘effectice feedback’, we created the Feedback Sandwich.
The Feedback Sandwich is a very simple context, can be applied quickly and in many situations will be enough to get the point across to the person receiving it. It works like this:
- Top Layer: start the feedback conversation with a positive thought or compliment on the person’s work or attitude. It has to be a genuine compliment meaning that the PM will have had to make an effort to get to know the person beforehand.
- Toppings Layer: slowly move towards the feedback point in question and phrase it positively. Sometimes using ‘we’ instead of ‘you’ might reduce the aggressiveness of the conversation.
- Bottom Layer: finish off the conversation with another compliment or positive thought that will motivate the person and leave them with a feel-good sensation.
We used this tool extensively during our Summer Camp years and we found it extremely useful in particular when having to deal with many cases in a short period of time.
Here is HBR on six questions to help guide a feedback conversation.