Beware of Bosses Handing Out “Crap Sandwiches”

If you’ve ever taken a management class—or been managed—you’ve probably come across the concept of the “feedback sandwich.” Known more colloquially as the “crap sandwich,” the idea is that when giving criticism, managers should sandwich it between two pieces of positive feedback: open with some praise, then offer the criticism, then close with some more praise to leave the person feeling good. It’s based on the idea that it’s easier for people to accept negative feedback when they also hear about what’s going well.

Unfortunately, the crap sandwich is fraught with problems. Once your employees recognize what you’re doing, they might start bracing for criticism every time you open a conversation with praise. It can also make the praise itself seem insincere…

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