Serving Up a S**T sandwich — Real Feedback that works

We’ve all been there — you have to a deliver a blow to your boyfriend, or girlfriend, or most dreaded of all, your boss. I’ve stayed up many-a-nights thinking, what approach will I take?

Law-like; throwing rules, policies, and culture decks in my boss’s face? Emotional; sucker punch them with emotion but risk being seen as temperamental, or worse, weak? Email or Face-to-Face? Should I ask them one burning question and display their hypocrisy in a stand-up and embarrass them? Do I ask or demand?

Deliver a beautiful blow with the shit sandwich

Enter the SHIT SANDWICH. This is hands-down the most subtle, effective, and compelling way to get your voice heard and move closer to an outcome you want — whether it’s an apology, an action, a raise, or whatever.

BREAD = A compliment (or acknowledgement)

MEAT = THE SHIT or what you really came to say.

BREAD = Another compliment or acknowledgement to close

To be clear, the shit sandwich IS NOT sugarcoating. It’s meant to lower the receiver’s guards so that the message hits home. It’s being truthful but being strategic about it.

It’s based on the idea of radical candor— care personally but challenge directly. Now, maybe at your work you can’t just serve up some realness like that. Regardless of the boss’ personality, what people can respect is when you say your truth to people’s faces, not say saying one thing and doing another.

The Shit Sandwich helps put people people at ease, while still delivering a small blow that made you speak up in the first place.

Let’s take some examples in daily life.

To Your Friend

Your friend just bailed on an important event because “something came up”.


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