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SBI - Situation Behavior Impact

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Giving Constructive Feedback with the SBI Tool

We've addressed the importance of giving and receiving feedback in our previous blog, but how can we ensure our feedback is constructive and beneficial to the other person?

Imagine this, you gave your colleague some feedback the other day on how amazing their presentation skills were and how they could do better by including more visuals. However, you notice that in the next few presentations your colleague has made no changes. Then you find out that they did not understand what you wanted them to do and wad just left confused.

Petadiri's research had found that feedback at the workplace has an immensely positive effect on the growth of employees. However, it is shown that some employees feel that feedback that is not accurate, timely, or not frequent enough results in them not understanding how to improve.

Source: Officevibes, Employee feedback demystified: a comprehensive guide for managers

  • 28% of employees mention that they do not understand how to improve because the feedback is not frequent enough

  • 23% of employees agree that they are unsatisfied with the frequency of feedback from their manager

  • 17% of employees mention that they feel the feedback they get is not specific enough for them to change

This can be avoided with the Situation Behavior Impact Feedback Tool developed by The Center for Creative Leadership. The SBI Feedback Tool assists you in providing more effective feedback. It concentrates your remarks on specific events and behaviors, then explains how these behaviors affect others.

Situation Behavior Impact S.B.I

The SBI method is simple and direct. We can capture and clarify the Situation, describe the specific Behaviors observed, and explain the impact that the person's behavior had on you. By using the SBI tool as your framework for giving feedback, you are able to curate a perfect picture for yourself before communicating with the other party.

Some might feel like it's a challenge to give feedback as they have negative experiences associated with giving feedback. The SBI Tool assists you in avoiding forming assumptions which may offend the other person and jeopardize your relationship with them.


Describe the situation. When delivering comments, start by defining the situation's whereabouts and when it occurred. This contextualizes the input and provides a reference point for the other person.


Describe the behavior. The next step is to define the exact behaviors you'd like to address. Because you must only communicate the behaviors that you directly observed, this is the most difficult element of the procedure. You must not make any assumptions or conclusions regarding such actions. These could be incorrect, undermining your feedback.


What was the impact of the behavior/ situation? Describe how the other person’s action has affected you or others.

Below are some examples of situations with the SBI model. First, we have positive feedback where we encourage and reinforce the existing behavior. This will give the other party a boost of confidence and motivate them to repeat the positive behaviors.

Next, we have an example of how to give negative feedback. We know this might be scary but it is essential for some employees' improvement. It is vital that we mention that negative feedback is not meant to demotivate or make someone feel bad but to understand why the situation happened in the first place and how we can help the individual reach their solution. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, through SBI we can provide them the understanding of how to improve their current actions.

When you organize feedback in this way, the other party will understand exactly what you're saying and why you're saying it. By describing how their actions or specific behavior has affected others, you're providing them the opportunity to reflect on their actions and evaluate what aspects they need to improve.

Download the Situation Behavior Impact Worksheet below!

SBI Worksheet
Download • 701KB


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