Can You Take It Like You Dish It?

Some stuff is just plain-old hard to swallow. Enough is enough, says your heart, mind and belly, and your throat says NOOOO. Enter, the praise sandwich. A praise sandwich is about hope, as in, not dashing it completely. A large portion of praise, a dash of criticism. Get ’em by the belly. When you’ve got ’em by the belly, their hearts and minds will follow. Or so one hopes when in the hotseat of delivering criticism.

The Praise Sandwich

Got it? Okay, let’s give it a run through. A little role play. I’ll be me and you can be my  supervisor. I have a monster appetite for praise – best slice that bread in slabs.

You: Lisa, when you make a sandwich, I can see that you put your heart and soul into all of it, beginning with the bread – growing the wheat in your rooftop garden, drawing spring water from a depth of 500 feet, milling the grain in your hand-cranked coffee grinder.Your dedication is unsurpassed.

That said, the mustard, while it is divine –  the vinegar so finely aged in your cellar, the mustard seeds at their peak of ripeness when handpicked by you with a forceps, the flavor so perfectly balanced by your formula, is spread a wee bit thin. 

I do want you to know that cheese from your personal fromagerie is superlative – velvety, tasting of blue skies and clover, and with the faintest hint of the organic muslin in which it is wrapped, woven by you, of course. You undoubtedly have contented cows. This sandwich, so simple, and yet so superlative.

Me: Up the mustard next time. Got it.

See there, wasn’t that easy? Praise goes down fast though, with a strong appetite for more close behind. Stock your larders. Especially if I’m coming over for a sandwich.


3 responses to “Can You Take It Like You Dish It?

  1. LC,
    So you’re saying, in the usual round-about way with words you excel at – if someone has criticism of your work, couch it with enough praise for the great stuff that surrounds it, such that the niggling errors or differences in judgment don’t hurt as much as they might…. got it. Up the mustard indeed.
    – Gary Poupon

  2. Thank you for distilling 785 words down to about 30. Much improved!

  3. Hey, if I wanted the condensed “Readers’ Digest” version of your miscellaneous missives, I wouldn’t be here traipsing through the tongue twisted tundra that is Lisa C. on turbo (turbot?) boost. Peg the needle and keep ’em coming!

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