Mastering the SBI Feedback Model: Examples Included

by Kylee Stone Mar 31,2023

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

What is SBI Feedback Model?

The SBI feedback model is a framework used to provide constructive feedback to employees, colleagues, or team members.

SBI feedback is structured into three parts: the Situation (time and place), the Behavior (actions being addressed), and the Impact (how the behavior affects us, the team, or the organization). The SBI model is designed to provide clear and actionable feedback that can help individuals improve their performance, enhance their skills, and achieve their goals.

By using the SBI model, feedback providers can provide specific examples and objective observations, avoiding generalizations and judgments that can lead to defensiveness or misunderstandings. The SBI model is widely used in the workplace, in coaching, and in personal relationships to facilitate effective communication, build trust, and promote growth.

Also Read: How To Handle Teamwork Challenges?

SBI Feedback Model Explained 

Explore effective communication and growth with the SBI Feedback Model, breaking down feedback into Situation, Behavior, and Impact for a comprehensive understanding.

The S of SBI: Situation

This involves describing a situation an employee was involved in. When you give feedback to a person, it is important that you let them know the situation in which the incident happened.

Ineffective “Situation” Feedback Example

“Colin. I really liked your presentation. Good job!”

This feedback makes sense only if the person giving it says it right after  the presentation has happened. But if that’s not the case, then this comment comes out of left field. And while it is a positive comment, it is rather vague. It gives the person receiving the feedback no context. Which presentation was being referred too? When was this presentation held?

The more you give feedback, the more you will realize that feedback needs context. Without context, feedback is just another generic statement, shorn of value.

SBI Feedback Example 

“Colin, I really liked your presentation on the new sales plan last week. Good job!”

As you can see, context gives feedback heft. Also, the recipient knew what exactly the giver was talking about.

Also Read: Ten One-on-One Meeting Questions You Should Ask Your Team

The B in SBI Stands for: Behaviour

This involves stating the way a person behaved in a certain situation that you want to give feedback upon. A person’s behavior informs feedback and allows you to judge whether the behavior helped the situation in a good way or a bad way.

Ineffective “Behavior” Feedback Example

“Colin, I really disliked that presentation about the new sales plan. It was bad.”

While this feedback comment mentions the situation, it does not give the recipient Colin an idea about what went wrong. It is evident that the presentation was disliked. Was it the way Colin conducted the presentation? Was it something that Colin did during the presentation? The feedback provides no clue! As a result, feedback like this tend to be demoralizing because while it implies a bad job, it does not tell the recipient what  was it they did not do.

Employee Career Development

SBI Feedback Example 

“Colin, I really disliked the presentation about the new sales plan. You fumbled a lot, with your notes and figures and I thought that reflected poorly on your manager. I am disappointed because I know you are usually good at presentations.”

In this feedback comment, the giver is blunt about his dislike but he  also explains why exactly he disliked the presentation and why he thought Colin did a bad job. This feedback comment lets the recipient where he went wrong.

Also Read: Performance Management Software:A Buyer’s Guide

Lastly, the I of SBI: Impact

The most important part of the SBI feedback model. This involves describing the impact that the person’s behavior had on the feedback giver or other people. Stating what impact a situation or behavior had closes the feedback process and allows both the recipient and the giver to propose a solution or rectify their mistakes.

Ineffective “Impact” Feedback Example

“Colin, you were unprepared for the presentation about the sales plan. This is not done.”

When you do not state how a person’s behavior affects you, then what is the point of giving feedback at all? Instead of feedback, the above statement becomes a comment about a bad job, which, while relevant, is not helpful. What you need to impress is how a person’s behavior impacts you and others.

SBI Feedback Examples

  1.  Situation: During the virtual team meeting, you interrupted your colleague several times. Behavior: You spoke over them and didn’t allow them to finish their thoughts. Impact: It disrupted the flow of the meeting and made your colleague feel disrespected. In virtual meetings, it’s important to practice active listening and avoid interrupting others.
  2. Situation: I noticed that you missed the deadline for the project deliverables. Behavior: Your delay caused a ripple effect in the project timeline. Impact: It affected the team’s ability to meet other deadlines and caused frustration. With remote work becoming more prevalent, it’s crucial to prioritize time management and meet deadlines.
  3. Situation: During the customer service call, you sounded frustrated and impatient with the customer. Behavior: Your tone of voice and language were dismissive. Impact: It could harm our company’s reputation and customer loyalty. In today’s competitive business environment, excellent customer service is critical, and it’s important to communicate respectfully and empathetically with customers.
Also Read: How To Create A Feedback Culture In Your Workplace?

The SBI framework incorporates all these three factors – Situation, Behaviour and Impact. How you choose to utilize these three elements is up to you, and you can include them in whatever order you like in your feedback. Use the SBI feedback examples discussed in this article to include better structure and clarity in your feedback.

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Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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