Using ‘SBI’ To Give Good Feedback

Using ‘SBI’ To Give Good Feedback

  • March 8, 2021

As a leader, it is important to know how to give good feedback, so your team understand your point and know exactly what to do going forward. Unfortunately, many people get this wrong. They say one thing, while what they said has been interpreted another way.

There are three key points to consider discussing in any feedback/coaching conversation:

1. The Situation – Describe the exact situation in discussion

2. The Behaviour – Describe the specific behaviours observed

3. The Impact – Describe how their behaviour has impacted others

These three steps help you structure your feedback logically and your team will understand what you are commenting and why you have brought it to attention.


Define the topic in question. Being highly specific and clear is the name of the game. Speaking with brevity creates clarity.

Your aim is to give a specific reference. To help define the situation, try to use the ‘When‘ formula.

As well as discussing the ‘when’, you now need to be clear on the ‘what’ – This is the behaviour.

Simply be specific in exactly what happened. What was it that you want to discuss and improve?

Avoid assumptions, here. Be highly specific and discuss what you observed or the data that you saw, do not involve personal opinions or emotions.


This step involves sharing how the impact of their behaviour has effected others, including you.

It is important, because you are closing the feedback loop and confirming how things have gone. By finishing with the impact, you can help them understand what to do next time to put things right.

Equally, the way you describe the impact, allows you to open up in discussion as to what to improve.

Rather than dictate, it is a great chance to deliver the Situation-Impact-Behaviour and then allow them to think through and identify solutions to improve the situation.

This approach can be used for every feedback situation, regardless of whether you have to praise someone or indeed provide some negative feedback.

Just ensure you keep things to the point and discuss what you actually see, not what you have heard.

Written by Sahar Habib
Founder of Coach Wilson