Many years ago, when I was in the corporate world, I remember learning how to criticize or reprimand the proper way. You pay a compliment, then criticize/reprimand followed up with a compliment. A criticize sandwich. Here’s how it works, I had to reprimand my receptionist one day because she was leaving our clients on hold much too long. I did not call her into my office or make a big deal out of it, I walked by her desk one morning, when no one was around, and I mentioned, “By the way, (insert her name here) I wanted to let you know I’ve had a lot of clients telling me how quickly you answer the phone… great job. They have also told me sometimes they are left on hold a little too long. I bet they would much rather hear your pleasant, kind voice then they would that boring hold music.” I got an “OK, I’ll just take a message from now on. Thanks.” Yes, she thanked me for criticizing her.
A different scenario… I ask my husband, “What do you think about this dress?” (Yes, I’m wearing it and I LOVE IT!!). His reply, “No, not for you. I don’t like it.” Now for a fleeting moment, I’m a bit crushed… did I mention I LOVE THIS DRESS? So I ask,
“What about the color? Do you like the color?”
“Oh, the color’s great; love that color on you.”
“Do you not like the style?”
“It looks like it should be for an old lady. It’s too long.”
“So you’d rather I wear something a little shorter, so you can see my legs?”
“Yes, you’ve got great legs.”
“So, in other words, you love the color of the dress but the dress is too long so you can’t see my great legs, is that it?”
“That’s what I said.”
LOL. Needless to say, I felt much better after that criticize sandwich.
When you need to criticize or reprimand someone, give it try. Even when you have that friend that someone really should talk to. You know you should because she’s a good friend and you really don’t want to hurt her feelings but you know it would be better heard from you than someone else that truly will hurt her feelings… A true friend would make her a sandwich. Just saying….