Difficult Conversations, Sandwich Method

70% of the thousands of people interviewed by the wise authors of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 have “difficulty handling stress.” Here is a technique that can help draw out the bile of any difficult conversation: the sandwich method. The sandwich starts with a nice piece of bread: a positive comment on the other person’s work. The middle of the sandwich is the critical comment or difficult news that must be delivered. The third layer is another soothing reflection of something that has gone very well. When challenge comes knocking at my door, this is the method I know will work. In business writing, it is very clean and elegant. And in those closed door conversations between two people whence the truth must out, it is the most graceful way to proceed.

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