Worked with some really great and interesting people this week. Part of the training I was delivering has a session on giving feedback to others at work, especially in relation to their performance. There are a couple of different models I use and discuss when I cover this topic, there are lots more too and it's really down to the individual on their choice of what works best for them.
During our discussion, (as is always the case) the old model of the "Praise sandwich" came up, sometimes called a different kind of sandwich using a 4 letter word! I do occasionally come across someone who still believes this is a good model to use, maybe because someone has suggested that's what they should do or perhaps because they aren't familiar with any other models.
I remember training the old sandwich method about 30 years ago when I first started in training; we thought it was great then, and perhaps it was for the time! When you work with/for someone that uses this method regularly, I think the biggest drawback is when they are actually giving you some praise, all I am thinking is, "What's coming next?" It completetly detracts from the praise being given. There's other drawbacks to this outdated method too.
It got me thinking about some other phrases we were all too familiar with when discussing customer service or how to deal with other people:
- "The customer is always right". It was promoted for years and years as one of the golden rules of providing good service. Well, clearly they are not always right! How can they possibly be? If I have a customer who believes they should only be paying me a fraction of the price I have quoted them, they are not right. Whilst there may be grounds to negotiate (in some cases) I have to make a living as do most people providing a service. I guess it's all about how you tell the customer that they are misinformed (or wrong).
- "Treat people the way you would like to be treated." This is a really interesting one and I often ask a group of people to think about it for a few minutes. Initial reaction is often, "Yes, that''s right". Given time to reflect, people often realise that what you want may not be what I want. Here's an example: I am normally a very chatty kind of guy who will pass the time of day with anyone. If someone who is providing me a service tries to engage with me in small talk, I am happy to respond.
One afternoon I popped into a large chain supermarket to pick up one item. Seeing a free checkout and being in a rush, I made straight for it expecting to hand over my cash and be away in no time at all. The checkout operator (due to his training no doubt) asked me what plans I had for the evening. Normally I am more than happy to chat and give some indication of my plans no matter what, but on this occasion I really didn't feel like that. He persisted and gave some contribution of his own to the conversation, one that I didn't have time for or wanted. He may like to chat and so do I but PLEASE pick up my response (or lack of) not to mention my body language.
The way you may like to be treated isn't necessarily the way I want to be! Another outdated phrase.
So, what phrases that we used to promote are now outdated? Would love to hear some more examples.