Try a Bite of This Kind of Sandwich

A Simple SandwichToday my friend Sandra’s sandwich fell out of her bag while she carried her usual arms full of stuff she brings to write for the day in Judi’s study hall space.

Judi’s Bassett hounds were very happy about this and, after Sandra gave the go ahead, they happily scarfed down the meat and cheese and lovingly (or hungrily) looked at her, hoping she had more.

“Wow! Wouldn’t it be great to make a man that happy! Maybe I ought to carry a sandwich around in my bra” said Sandra.

This made me think about what it would take to make a man that happy. Food is certainly one way, although its effects last for a limited amount of time. What happens in between meals?

This had me think of a different kind of sandwich you can carry with you wherever you go and it won’t stink up your bra. It’s called an “approval sandwich”. It’s a three step approach and here is how it goes:

1. First you find something you genuinely like about what’s happening now and voice your approval.

2. Next, ask for a small, specific alteration or change you would like the person to make.

3. Then, right after the change is made, approve of and acknowledge once again.

Think of someone scratching your back. They are now scratching the middle of your back, it feels good, then the itch moves over to the right side of your back. This is how it goes:

1. Ooh, yes… that feels really good.

2. Could you please move over a few inches to the right? (they move over)

3. Ahh..that’s really great, that’s the spot.

Then, start the whole process all over as they winningly make their way over your whole back.

One thing to remember is keep in step#3. People have the tendency to drop off this final approval, but this is a vital ingredient in the sandwich.

Okay, getting your back scratched looks like an easy way to use the 3 step approval sandwich. What about when your husband agrees to make a fruit salad, you leave room while he is preparing the ingredients and you come back just in time to see him mixing the bananas in the with other fruit?  You know bananas bruise easily, it will be another 3 hours before the fruit is eaten and you would like them to be in a separate bowl, but you don’t want to shoot him down by screeching, “No, stop! Don’t do that! What’s wrong with you, anyhow! Are you stupid or what?”

You can take a breath, smile, and say something like, “I am so glad you are making the fruit salad for the party. Would you please put the bananas in a separate bowl? They stay so much fresher that way. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that”

We have a tendency to start by saying what’s wrong with what someone is doing, to be critical or judgmental. That is not very inspiring, nor does it lead to having people want to do more for you.

Try this with your partner, your children, your friends. I guarantee if you remember all 3 parts of the sandwich, they will be coming back for more!

 

 

2 Responses to Try a Bite of This Kind of Sandwich

  1. Marsha October 5, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    Go go go! I am so happpy you are doing this!!!!

    • Carol Sue October 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks Marsha! I am happy, too. Why don’t you write a guest blog sometime?

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