There are several ways to communicate a criticism without offending. One of the simplest to remember is called the ‘sandwich technique’ because you literally sandwich your so-called negative comment between two positives.
But before I give you an example, I want to point something out that is very important.
I use the word ‘criticism’ quite carefully. Any and all criticisms are simply opinions. And in the art of communication, we need to remember that one person’s opinion is not necessarily the same as someone else’s. One person’s praise is another’s criticism or vice versa. So, before crafting your sandwich, think carefully about your word choice and the person you are speaking to.
Anyway, here is a short but common sandwich technique example:
“Bob, thank you so much for helping me complete the project. Your attention to financial details helped us keep costs right down. We faltered a little keeping to timelines so let’s make that a priority for the next project. And of course, that will help you to get all the information you need to put the professional package together.”
Action – Using this technique means you’ll get your message across while still supporting someone to feel good about their work.