SBI Framework

We have decided to feature the “SBI Framework” today in honor of this week’s earlier post on breaking up in business.  If you believe you may have difficulty discontinuing your services to a client, the SBI model may work for you.  SBI stands for Situation, Behavior, and Impact, and it is a model for professional feedback. You will find the SBI model can apply to ending a relationship with a client as well.  It can help you professionally point to the problems (situation), the issues (behaviors) that you do not believe will be possible to resolve, and the impact that it has had (and would have if you tried to slog through it).

Impact:

Explain how the behavior impacted the circumstances, affected the organization, team work, or program. Communicate what you need to happen, and if you’re trying to salvage the relationship, include a consequence if the desired behavior does not CHANGE in the future.

We suggest offering SBI feedback as soon as possible after the issue arises. Don’t let the issue drag on for weeks or months, unproductive emotions are more likely to creep in.  These emotions will likely negatively impact the business in the short and long-term.

Consider this (real life) scenario:  You contracted a web design firm (on 15 May) to provide a website redesign, and agreed to a completion date no later than 1 Jun.  Today’s date is 15 June, and your web designer has not completed the project, nor has he updated you about the percentage of completion, or complications that stopped him from completing the project on time.  You tried to contact them via email and phone call for an update at various points over the past three weeks.

Situation:

We agreed to have this project completed by 1 June, and we are now 100% beyond our initial timeline.

Behavior:

I would not be as concerned about the situation, but for the lack of communication.  I expected steady, timely updates on the project’s progress.  I have not been updated in three weeks.

Impact and What I Need:

a) The new website is not active.  Our business has been without its website update, which we estimated would improve our search visitors by 100% and would increase our E-Commerce by 17%.  It has also impacted your firm’s reputation within our organization.  I am personally concerned about your dedication to the project.  ACTION: I need you to get back to me by the close of the business day so that we can discuss the project and our expectation for daily updates from this point forward until the project’s completion.

or

b) The new website is not active.  Our business has been without its website update, which we estimated would improve our search visitors by 100% and would increase our E-Commerce by 17%.  I have been asked to notify you about our intention to terminate our contract and we have hired a new developer.  ACTION: Please provide all related files for the web development for our use with our new designer.   Perhaps there have been extenuating circumstances that have caused this delay, but without proper notification a breech of contract occurred.

or

c) The new website is not active.  Our business has been without its website update, which we estimated would improve our search visitors by 100% and would increase our E-Commerce by 17%.  I have been asked to notify you about our intention to terminate our contract.  ACTION: Our principal has asked that you return our initial payment so we are not forced to turn this matter over to our legal department.  Perhaps there have been extenuating circumstances that have caused this delay, but without proper notification a breech of contract occurred.

Notice, the impact in each situation is the same, “The new website is not active.  Our business has been without its website update, which we estimated would improve our search visitors by 100% and would increase our E-Commerce by 17%.”  One might also say “It has also impacted your firm’s reputation within our organization” is also consistent across the board, but in the first instance you are trying to salvage the relationship and build on the relationship.  In other feedback situations, you would note the impact of the behavior on the firm or others i.e. causing offense, someone feeling marginalized and less comfortable sharing in meetings, etc.

Good luck!

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