The Sandwich Principle

One of the most important lessons they can teach you in school is this: the sandwich principle.

In my mind, there are three spheres that this principle touches on:

Advice-giving

Yes, we’ve all been there (and will have to be there). Like it or not, we all have to give criticism or advice sometimes, even regularly, either as parents or supervisors or leaders. This works best by sandwiching the counsel: start with a positive, include the corrective action, then end with the positive so that the receiver of the information does not feel that they are being attacked personally.

2. Business

In the business world, besides learning that “you’re only as good as your latest project,” you quickly learn the significance of the sandwich principle. You tell your customers how you will meet your need, you actually meet their need and then you remind them how you met their need. This process happens starting with the product development and testing phase to the marketing of the product right through to soliciting customer feedback. The hard part is to find the “point of pain” or need that the customer has that you endeavour to solve as businessperson, musician or artist. You do this, of course, by examining the S.W.O.T. environment – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

The same concept goes for writing. In an essay or non-fiction format, there’s an introduction, middle (the content) and a conclusion. Even in account with fiction literature, the reader is primed through introduction of the characters, development of the storyline and a conclusion that wraps up the loose ends together.

3. Spiritual

I am going to venture that the same can be applied to sharing the Gospel with folks. First, you tell them the good news of the Gospel, then sandwich in the fact that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (even continually, every day) and then you end off by restating the mind-blowing reality that Christ invites us into a close relationship and communion with Him!

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