How to Correct Someone Without Hurting Their Feelings

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How to Correct Someone Without Hurting Their Feelings


Sean: Hey, guys! Welcome back to the channel. This is Leadership Stack. I’m your host Sean Si aka Mr. CEO 22. And today our topic is going to be how do you correct someone without hurting their feelings.

You see here in the Philippines, we have a lot of people who are thin skinned or in Tagalog, balat-sibuyas. And when you say something that might be true, might be even completely true, but it just hurts their feelings, what happens is they usually just shut off.

And nothing that you say further will come into their hearts, their minds. It will not promote change in them, the change that you need as their leader or as their manager. So how do you confront someone most probably in your team or could be a family member, could be a friend without hurting their feelings?

And I know that a lot of videos cover this already and it is encouraged to use this method. It’s called the sandwich method. And we cannot stress this enough and yet not so many people actually use this method.

What you need to do is when you finally get the chance to sit down with that person that you need to correct you first, encourage that person by saying, “Thank you for your work. Thank you for all the right good things that you have done for the company. I appreciate this. I remember this and that.”

And you make the person feel appreciated so that it would allow you to segway into, “And I want that to continue. I want you to continue to become a valuable team player so these are some things that I think you can improve.”

So you segway into that, you soften up the blow, then finally you give them the meat of the topic. And the meat of the topic is usually what you really want them to change or improve.

And you say it in such a way that it is so clear and precise that it is quite sharp. It might even hurt them. But because you use the sandwich method, because you built them up first, the blow gets weakened by a lot and it’s accepted much better.

So you could continue on by saying, “But here’s an area where I believe you have such a good opportunity to improve. You see, when this happened to this person, I believe that they were not that happy with what you said or what you did. And when you improve that, I believe you can be so much more to this organization.”

And then you end with an encouraging and inspiring tone by saying, “You know, I really believe in you, and I really believe that you can do this. And I will be here to help you and cheer you on.” And the sandwich method can be summarized into that. And it is an effective method whether you are a startup or whether you are a big corporate entity.

But the reason why so few leaders and managers actually practice this well is because life and work gets in the way. When you have so much to do on your plate and you’re so hot headed already and you’re stressed out, you just want to get things done and you just say things straight, “Hey, you know what you did, I don’t like it. And i f you don’t change that, I can’t guarantee your future.” Right?

So a lot of leaders and managers do it that way. It’s so quick, it’s so easy, it’s so expedient, but it will cost you the relationship. And you’re not guaranteed the change and improvement that you need to do.

So my suggestion is take the time to sit down, strategize around what you’re going to say, and execute in such a way that you are going to soften the blow so that they will accept and they will eat what you will say, and they will make it go down into their hearts. And finally they will be able to manifest a change that will be positive and will be a win-win for you and the person that you’re confronting.

When is this method ineffective? Maybe you’re wondering, is there a time when this method is ineffective? Yes, of course. If there’s someone in your team who is divisive, who gossips, who slanders other people, who’s hard headed, who’s toxic, you can watch our video about how to handle toxic employees. then this method would be ineffective.

Not because of the method. It’s not the fault of the method. It’s because the person is inherently unchangeable. Us as leaders and managers, we can only explain why they try to curve their behavior, try to make them see different points of view if they’re willing. But  if they’re not willing, we can’t change them. Only God can change people.

So I hope this video provides value for you. And if it did, please do help us by sharing it with friends, family, colleagues in your Facebook page and Twitter. And please don’t forget to hit the like button, the subscribe button, and the bell notification icon so you get notified whenever we publish a new video.

Also, we have our Leadership Stack shirts. We still do have stock. Just go to If you do believe in the work that we’re doing here, please do support the channel by getting a shirt of your own. Thank you so much. This is again your host, Sean So, and I will see you on the next video.

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