The goal of offering the advice is that the other person is empowered to resolve an issue or improve on something. Therefore, it is worthwhile to present that advice in a way that it will be best received.
The “information sandwich” technique is a three-step process for making information (the contents of the sandwich) palatable for the other person.
1. Ask permission.
2. Offer the advice.
3. Check back/ clarifying after.
By layering information between asking permission and checking back or clarifying after, sandwiching helps the person receive it, take it in, and feel empowered to use it.
1. ASK PERMISSION.
Asking permission increases the likelihood that the other person will hear what follows. Firstly, it is a courtesy. And more importantly, it is a mindshift; when they give you the permission, they are inviting you in to share your thoughts. It enhances the other person’s sense of control over the conversation. One last point: truly asking permission means leaving room for them to say “No, I’d rather not hear this right now.” It is so much better to know this than to speak to deaf ears.
-“Would it be helpful for you to hear about…?”
-“Could I offer a thought?”
-“Can I ask a question?”
-“I have a couple of ideas…but did you want to say your ideas first?”
-“Would it be alright if I expressed one concern I have about this plan?” 2. SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS.
3. CHECK BACK.
Essentially, you want to know how the information was received and if clarification or if further discussion is warranted.
-“Does that make sense to you?”
-“I just wanted to check back about…”
-“I’m not sure I said that very clearly…”