Feedback - SBI

This is the first of two techniques which I will be exploring on how to give more effective, useful and valuable feedback. The technique is called SBI (Situation-Behavior-Impact) and was developed by Sloan Weitzel. It lays down a set of steps that can be followed which will hopefully guide you into the pit of success.

SBI Steps

Situation

Whenever you provide feedback, it is vitally important that you first define the situation or instance that you are referring to. This avoids any confusion and puts both parties on the same page.

For example:

  • "Yesterday, during our daily standup, when your colleagues were giving their feedback..."
  • "When we were at the head office for the team building event..."

Behaviour

In the next step, you describe all the observable actions and behaviours that you want to address. Like I mentioned in the The Art of Feedback post, it is important that you note only the actions or behaviours that could have been recorded by a camera. Any subjective or interpreted information will lead you down the slippery slope of disagreement.

For example:

  • "Yesterday, during our daily standup, when your colleagues were giving their feedback, you were sending text messages on your phone..."
  • "When we were at the head office for the team building event, you were laughing and socializing with some colleagues you have never met before..."

Impact

In this last step, you typically use "I" statements to describe how their actions affected you. The sentences typically start somewhere along the lines of "I saw...", "I heard...", "I felt...", "I thought..." etc.

For example:

  • "Yesterday, during our daily standup, when your colleagues were giving their feedback, you were sending text messages on your phone. I felt that you weren't paying attention, and important information may come up that was relevant to you"
  • "When we were at the head office for the team building event, you were laughing and socializing with some colleagues you have never met before. I was proud to see how far you had come in learning how to interact with sunshine yellows"

I hope that provides you some valuable steps in giving effective feedback. In the next post we will look at another technique called the D4 Based Feedback. As always comments and effective feedback are more than welcome!

Until next time...keep learning!

Mauro Da Silva

Learning everyday about software development, leadership & self improvement

South Africa