Are all hamburgers unhealthy – or how to use hamburger method at work.

I will start with a funny anecdote from one of my training sessions when I was explaining what hamburger method is. I wanted to draw a hamburger, and as among many of my talents you would not find drawing or painting, here is how it went:


The participants started asking if it’s a Pacman, ghost or maybe an egg… Drawing was a failure but it started our discussion on… how to give me a feedback that I am bad in drawing and thus I could introduce this method.

I heard about the hamburger (sometimes called sandwich) method during my first job in the agency from my friend. I didn’t know how to tell the candidate that was really strong that he failed in an interview. He told me I should do it this way: start with something really good about the candidate, then give him a constructive feedback on what was wrong and then and end on a positive note with again something good.

I really liked it and started using it from this moment, not only with the candidates, but also with my bosses, colleagues and especially with my family too!

What is important is to always be truthful. When saying the compliments, we shouldn’t be fake and say things that are not true. E.g. if the candidate/husband was not good with his organizational skills or didn’t show them so we cannot say how he/she is, we shouldn’t compliment on that. As for the middle part of the hamburger, the bad stuff, is should be a constructive criticism. Saying “Because you were bad” or “How you answered was stupid” would not bring any added value for us.

A good example on how to give criticism without being considered as a bad policeman is in the article below:

As you know, as many people, as many opinions. And I always listen to the other side. I love hamburger method but there might be people who don’t appreciate it. Some say that if you “embellish” the criticism with the compliments, your colleague would not focus on the negative feedback you wanted to tell him, it will be lost in nice words that he heard in the beginning. I don’t agree with it if you do it properly. If you give a good explanation and even introduction that e.g. you will be discussing his/her performance and there are good and bad stuff in it and that you will walk them through, the person already knows they need to work on someting and progress. For those who want to know why hamburger method can be wrong, please read the article:

Whichever method you will choose, it is important to treat everybody with respect. This being said, stop nagging your husband, wife or colleague and… be nice to each other 🙂