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The Shit Sandwich

This week I have received two emails that reflect the Shit Sandwich – I got given some unsolicited and rather confusing “feedback.”

I thought the shit sandwich had long gone, but then that might just be that I left the world of normal work some years ago.

I no longer have to deal with management reviews, 360-degree feedback, pointless planning meetings and the endless sensitivities produced by the complex and incomprehensible social politics of the corporate office environment.

In the health service, where clinicians deal daily with such things as spilt bodily fluids, MRSA, festering sores and those random turds that nurses constantly find in strange places, feedback processes are somewhat different from the world of corporations.

Some might call them “coarse.” Health service feedback takes two forms.

1. Where person “A” has to give negative feedback to person “B”. Person “A” approaches person “B” in full view of everyone else and shouts directly at person “B” with as much belittling as possible. Person “A” and Person “B” never speak again. Everyone else gossips.

2. Where person “A” has to give negative feedback to person “B”. Person “A” utterly ignores person “B” and instead tells everyone else what a complete arse person “B” is. Person “A” and person “B” continue to socialise and act like best friends.  Everyone else gossips.

In the much more refined and dignified world of corporate, things are supposed to be different. More adult, more professional.

Or at least, according to schools of managerial systems, things ought to be different; good clean communication is the name of the game.

Where communication is good, everyone is happy and we all profit, apparently.

Thus, introducing the shit sandwich:

1. say something nice and lovely about the victim to the victim.
2. tell the victim what an utter arse he is.
3. say something nice about the victim.

THIS ladies and gentleman is considered to be good and effective communication skill in action. It builds rapport and trust and eliminates all gossip as everyone is happy.


So, next time you enter the office to hear the words of, “Now, first, I’d like you to know how much we appreciate your unique perspectives…” you just know what is likely to come next.

Andrew T. Austin
  • Andrew T. Austin
  • Andrew T. Austin is formerly an NLP master practitioner, clinical hypnotherapist, and a nurse with a background in accident and emergency (A&E) and neurosurgery.

    He is the developer of Metaphors of Movement and Integral Eye Movement Therapy.

    #NLP #neurolinguisticprogramming #hypnotherapy

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