Providing Feedback To Others – Sandwich Feedback Technique

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providing feedback to others the sandwich feedback technique

Feedback is an integral element of professional development and refers to information received about your performance on a task or activity which is used as a basis for improvement (Hazelwood, Avery & Karantzas, 2013).

Giving and receiving feedback in a positive and empowering manner is an important skill. Giving and providing feedback can be challenging and confronting as we are asking for our own behaviour and manner to be critiqued and requires personal courage and trust.

Feedback can help you explore what you are saying and doing, and it can help you discover your personal strengths and resources. Feedback provides a reality check and positive feedback provides reinforcement for what is being done well, and constructive corrective feedback provides assistance when things are off track. Feedback is change or improvement oriented.

Asking for feedback

The key to eliciting effective feedback lies in the steps below. Adherence to these general principles will ensure that when asking for feedback you receive the necessary information you require to make changes or adjustments to your practice.

  • Outline the issue:  Be clear about what it is you are wanting feedback on.
  • Select your “feedback people” with care, ensure it is someone who you trust and will respond to the task integrity.
  • Set boundaries with your “feedback person” and ensure you request honest, fair and constructive criticism.
  • Be ready for the evaluation

Giving feedback

Consideration, empathy, honesty and tact are integral to giving constructive feedback. The aim should be to offer feedback to your peers, supervisors or colleagues in a way that assists them to strive to improve their performance. It is a skill that takes time to harness and should be practice regularly.

The Sandwich Feedback Technique for giving constructive feedback consists of beginning the feedback process with affirming what the person is doing well; offering validation and praise where it is due.  This is followed by ‘corrective feedback’ which aims to bring to the person’s attention an area of concern in their performance, attitude or behaviour that requires self-evaluation and improvement.

It is then important to then end the feedback process with a positive statement.  This process can be effective with people who are particularly averse to feedback and have a tendency to become defensive.  Overall, it can be a good process to use with all people when offering feedback as it ensures that the feedback is respectful and helpful, rather than negative and de-moralising.

Sandwich Feedback Technique

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Article by Michelle Tottle
Comunity Services and Counselling Faculty