Feedback You Can Fathom

How do you give effective feedback in the workplace? We must admit it–giving and receiving feedback is not something most of us look forward to doing. In fact, we often know we should give feedback but are uncertain on how to deliver the message. Effective feedback is an important and efficient way to let people know the impact of their behavior so they are able to make informed choices regarding future actions.

CCL's SBI Feedback Model

CCL has developed a feedback technique called Situation-Behavior-Impact, or SBI, to help you give feedback in a way that works. Using SBI you can avoid common mistakes people make when giving feedback to peers, direct reports, volunteers, a boss or board members, such as:

• Judging individuals, not actions.
• Being too vague.
• Giving unwanted advice.
• Sandwiching negative feedback between positive messages.

SBI is simple and direct: you capture and clarify the situation, describe the specific behaviors and explain the impact that the person’s behavior had on you. It is used for giving both positive and negative feedback. For example:

“Matt, during Tuesday’s board meeting, you called for a vote on the budget item Terry suggested without seeking my input first. I felt dismissed and wondered if the board really understood the implications of that new expense.”

“April, over the past month you have been putting in extra volunteer hours to meet this upcoming deadline. I really appreciate the time and effort you’re putting into the organization.”

As you become more familiar with the approach and more comfortable with the delivery, your feedback skills will become more and more effective. The people you work with will benefit from the effort you put toward helping them develop. You, in turn, will benefit from developing a useful skill that not only helps to raise the effectiveness of the people around you but also bolsters your leadership skills.

Shera is the author of a new guidebook,
Feedback that Works for Nonprofit Organizations,
published by CCL Press in 2014.  

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About Shera Clark

Shera serves as Manager, Nonprofit Sector, for CCL. Her responsibilities in this area include business development, account management, and the design and delivery of customized interventions for the corporate, education, and nonprofit sectors. She is the Co-Deputy Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Ladder to Leadership National Program Office and manages the African-American Leadership Program. In addition she has fifteen years of group facilitation experience in leadership development initiatives, including Maximizing Your Leadership Potential, Leadership Development Program and a variety of CCL custom programs. She is also a certified CCL Executive Coach.
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2 Responses to Feedback You Can Fathom

  1. UUUuuummm I see a problem with the way SBI is presented.

    In the situation described:
    “Matt, during Tuesday’s board meeting, you called for a vote on the budget item Terry suggested without seeking my input first. I felt dismissed and wondered if the board really understood the implications of that new expense.”

    The problem is that you put the focus on you and indirectly infused an intent that may not be there. i.e feeling dismissed and wondering if the board . . .
    Lots of possibilities for misinterpretation & the person feeling judged and misunderstood.

    I think it is mrs effective to 1. Describe the behaviour – which you did well.
    then #2. wait for the person to respond – zip it up!
    #3. Then only after the person has responded do you respond based on what the person said. “I heard you say . . . “
    #4. Articulate the goal i.e. in Matt’s case The goal, intent is for Matt to get my input first.
    The go to #5. Work together to find a solution
    #6. Ask the person to write down or at least repeat back what is the solution
    #7. Set a future date to review – What’s working well. What needs improvement. What are we missing.
    Hope that’s useful.
    Regards
    “Do the Needful”
    jim

  2. I feel more an more educated after the knowledge i recieved.it is really useful and am honerd to have visited you guys. You gave me great knowledge and id love to kick start my future @ a non profit org just to learn more

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