i heard on npr

I’ve always wanted be cool enough to say, “Hey, I heard on NRP that…”

So I started listening to it and now I can tell you this:

I heard a program on NPR about giving and receiving criticism.

We’ve all heard the general advice of start with the positives, then give the negative, end with a summary positive. But this report suggested an even more specific approach, which I will test by giving feedback to Bubby on loading the dishwasher.

Start with general praise, an overall kind of comment or two.

It’s so awesome that you loaded the dishwasher. The kitchen looks great.

Then give constructive criticism with (and this is key) specific suggestions for improvement.

There was a lot of available space in the top rack. To utilize that space, place the cups next to one another and put smaller bowls or plates in the leftover areas.

You washed the stainless steel pots in the dishwasher. As I’ve told you a billion times Per the manufacturer, it’s best to hand wash those.

The bottom rack could have been better organized. If you put the same size and type of dishes together in a section, you will have more room overall. For example, rather than mixing the dinner plates and salad plates and a random bowl in the middle (wasted room), put all of the dinner plates in that section so they take up the maximum space. You get what I mean, don’t you, Sweetie?

This makes people feel like the thing is completely fixable rather than they are eternally flawed.

End with very specific positive feedback. My favorite point of the talk was that one’s memory is much more clear AFTER criticism.

You rinsed all the dishes so carefully before putting them in the dishwasher. Because of this, they came out extra-perfectly clean.

You’re very efficient with your time when loading the dishwasher — from start to finish you stay focused and get it done.

You wiped down the counter after loading the dishwasher which made the kitchen feel clean and sparkly.

I appreciate that you want to help and are willing to load the dishes.

Compared to my original tactic on feedback where I might front-load the positive to soften the impact of the negative, this shifts the bulk of the positive to the end where it will be remembered.

An hour later, a persona has forgotten the first thing you said, they remember the negative (because that’s what we focus on), and the memory of the positive after is more clear.

Isn’t NPR wonderful!?


4 Responses to “i heard on npr”

  1. 3 Amy --- Just A Titch September 27, 2010 at 12:10 am

    I love NPR passionately, and I’m also a big fan of the “criticism sandwich” as I call it. It’s a great method. Thanks for the reinder.

  2. 4 searching4tadasana October 22, 2010 at 6:25 am

    oh my…our guys learned to load the dishwasher the exact same way…i am going to read him this post…then i will just say “ditto”!

How about you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 76 other followers




%d bloggers like this: