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A Better Way To Give Feedback

Parenting 101 – Recovery Basics

Parenting isn’t about having all (or any) of the answers, but rather about opening one’s perspective, asking good questions, giving encouragement and finding a path forward for our children. It involves listening attentively and actively.

Here’s the SBIE feedback model:

  • Situation: Define the where and when of the event.
  • Behavior: What behavior did you specifically observe that you would like to give feedback about?
  • Impact: What was the specific impact of the behavior?
  • Expectation: In the future, how could the person modify that behavior to achieve a different result? What could that different result look like?

For example:

So the where and when of the event could be, what happened the last time they went to treatment and then came out of the center, the behavior you observed was someone who did very little of what was suggested and then resumed use of heroin. The impact of that behavior was a feeling of great fear that you were going to die. I lived day to day in a state of anticipated grief. It was very painful. In the future you could do what has been suggested to you by professionals to you in order to modify your behavior and then move toward a life goal you have for yourself that will make you fulfilled and much less likely to need to do drugs to self-regulate.

Limitations of the SBIE Model

The limitation of the SBIE model is that it can come across as cold and directive and, quite frankly, it projects assumptions and limits ownership. The most effective feedback and coaching, in contrast, involves two-way communication.

How to Give Effective Feedback

When you are faced with giving feedback, it helps to start with yourself. Before your meeting or phone call, consider what you might be doing that has contributed to the issue and ask yourself if the playing field is level. Would you evaluate the behavior the same way if it were someone else’s child? We tend to talk to other children with a much different tone and rhythm. More, dispassionate if you will. Then, explore how you can articulate the overall impact to the family. Lastly, prepare a couple of questions that will get a two-way conversation started. Write down on paper the meeting you have in your head and share it with your coach before going into the call  or get together.

Executing An Effective Feedback Conversation

  • Share your perspectives and concerns over how the behavior is impacting the family.
  • Own up to your contributions to the situation.
  • Have a number of questions prepared, but open the floor for discussion.
  • Ask your child about their perspective and really listen for understanding.

Take specific note of new information and things that surprise you. Do you agree on the critical stakeholders (the whole family) and the likely impact? Do you understand the relevant history and context?

Remain open-minded, and be prepared to continue the discussion after you’ve had time to reflect on the dialogue.

After ensuring everything has been laid out, it’s time to move forward. People will likely be more open to new solutions and ways of working together when they authentically believe their point of view has been heard. Therefore, it is important that you and the child, together, develop a mutual plan that delivers the desired outcome instead of just your own pre-determined expectations. (What is the desired outcome for you? What does a optimally functioning family look like and how does it run that way?)

Lastly, determine how you are going to support each other moving forward, and commit to continued learning and regular feedback. Personal growth, after all, is a never-ending journey.

Visit our website to learn more today. And don’t forget, 1 Method Center provides 12 months of post-treatment support to loved ones – so the process will be ongoing, and we’ll be here to help you every step of the way.

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