Three Useful Techniques in Organizational Performance Communication
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains the sandwich technique couches a bit of corrective feedback between two elements of reinforcement. Use this type of feedback when data shows a mix between improvement needs and benchmark adherence. The trick to using this style of communication effectively is clarity. As a project manager, you must be extremely succinct in pinpointing the area of needed improvement, as well as the two areas of performance excellence. A common mistake is the use of specific criticism and vague or generic praise.
E(vidence), E(ffect) and C(hange) or EEC
In this model, improvement is the focus of the feedback. Communication tools are strictly clinical and intentionally devoid of emotional terms. For example, the project manager corrects a team member for schedule deviations. The evidence presented is a mix of print-outs, data and verifiable incidents of the inappropriate schedule variation. The effect is another print-out that shows concrete cause-and-effect chains brought on by the schedule deviations. The desired change may not be readily apparent to the project manager, and it is here that she should carefully inquire about the possible reasons for schedule divergence. In some cases, it may be a personal problem that took the team member’s focus off the tasks at hand. Self-assessment will lead the worker to the right change response.
While the other methods of communication assume a one-on-one setting, group feedback affects the entire team. It is a dangerous method to use and inevitably leads to misunderstandings and frustration, simply because the delivery of the message cannot be tailored to individual recipients. In this setting, the team -- as a whole -- is the recipient of the communication given by the project manager. It is time-saving but frequently unproductive.