Case Study: Giving Feedback

In 2018, an Amlaw100 firm engaged Leadership for Lawyers to design and deliver a comprehensive training program on how to effectively give and receive feedback for all attorneys and staff.


In response to a firm-wide employee engagement study, the firm’s leaders realized that there was a need for more frequent and effective feedback at all levels of the firm.  In particular, young professionals and associates were seeking more specific and actionable feedback on their performance. The firm’s strategic plan called for the integration of feedback to improve client service and team performance.


The goal of the program was to introduce the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model of feedback and to encourage daily SBI interactions, giving both positive and constructive feedback for performance improvement.

Participants & Delivery

Five live training sessions were offered to staff, senior staff, associates, counsel and partners.  All sessions were broadcast to 12 offices and recorded for those who could not make the mandatory training at that time.  More than 800 people participated over a two-day period. Each session was 75 minutes in length.

Training Program

The interactive training focused on pragmatic, easy-to-apply tips on how to give and receive feedback in a structured manner, including:

• Why feedback is important and its benefits to teamwork

• Obstacles to giving feedback in a law firm environment

• When, where, how and why to give feedback

• The SBI model, with multiple practical examples (see below)

• Tips for giving and receiving feedback

• Six elements of active listening

• Planning out a real-life feedback session

• Q&A

Learning Aids

A workbook was provided in both print and electronic form.  The workbook included tips on how to use the SBI method and on active listening.   Articles and tips on giving feedback were provided to the firm via email, the learning portal and other reminders in the weeks following the training sessions.  

SBI Method

SBI stands for “Situation – Behavior – Impact”.  The model is designed to give the person receiving feedback information on how their behavior was perceived by others in a manner that minimizes defensiveness and allows the person to make appropriate changes.  The model is taught by the Center for Creative Leadership and used widely in organizations worldwide.  Read more here.  


For more information, visit LeadershipForLawyers.com or contact Mark Beese, President at mark@leadershipforlawyers.com