The SBI model

The SBI model is a helpful way to frame challenges and concerns so we keep the focus on ourselves. The more we can stay focused on the impact another person’s behaviour has had on us, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Here’s how SBI works:

Situation: First we share a specific situation that occurred in the past so our colleague has the relevant context. Example: Yesterday when we were in the meeting with Carol from XYZ company...

Behaviour: Next we share a specific behaviour we observed from our colleague. Example: committed my time to deliver drawings to the client without first checking with me for my availability.

Impact: Lastly, we share what impact that behaviour had on us. Examples: That left me feeling like you don’t respect my time, or; I will now need to work this evening and miss my son’s school concert, or; I now need to decide if I disappoint client A or client B because I can’t meet both commitments.

The final step in SBI is to seek a positive resolution by asking for what we need or desire, both now and in the future. Examples: Can you negotiate a later delivery date with Carol? Next time, can you check with me first so I can let you know what time I have available?

How to be a good receiver of Feedback

To be a good provider of feedback, we first need to be a respected receiver of feedback. This starts with an attitude of openness, curiosity and an assumption of good intent on the part of the feedback provider. Listening with gratitude comes through an appreciation that giving feedback requires taking a risk.

We also retain the right to receive feedback as true and actionable, or merely an interesting perspective for further consideration.

The following questions can be helpful in reflecting on our own practice of receiving feedback.

  1. I invite and encourage my colleagues to provide me with feedback.

  2. I notice when someone is trying to offer me feedback and create space for the feedback.

  3. I become curious about the feedback I am receiving and resist the urge to defend my choices or to dismiss the feedback as inaccurate.

  4. I choose a growth mindset by recognizing that feedback does not reflect on who I am as a person but on how I happened to show up at one particular moment.

  5. I show gratitude to the giver, irrespective of my agreement with the feedback.

Caring Candor

Based on the Radical Candor model developed by Kim Scott. Acting from the Radical Candor quadrant of the matrix means we are Challenging Directly (saying what needs to be said) while also showing we Care Personally about the other individual. In Kim’s words, “Radical Candor really just means saying what you think while also giving a damn about the person you’re saying it to.”

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