Debriefing Team Building Activities can serve as an opportunity to reflect on any experience and make it meaningful by identifying what we learned about ourselves and others. The technique of debriefing is useful for group members following the completion of an activity or event. As facilitators, our role is to lead a thought provoking, safe discussion by asking meaningful questions in a pre-planned sequence. A mature group will often lead their own discussion with little prompting from a facilitator. A debrief usually follows this sequence: rules, what, so what, now what.
Rules: Rules can help to develop a supportive, caring climate for people to feel safe and free to express themselves. What: This is the team building activity report describing what happened during the entire activity, who was involved, what was accomplished, what needs were met, etc. What were some things you noticed? Did any of these things surprise you? To ask about what was learned may include:
- What do you know now that you didn’t know before?
- What attitudes and feelings do you have about the experience that you didn’t have before?
- Are you aware of any other changes that occurred in knowledge, skills, attitudes, or feelings as a direct result of this experience? If so, explain.
- How did you actually learn what is most important to you?
To ask to evaluate the group may include:
- What part of this project was most valuable for you?
- How has this group been helpful to you?
- How have you contributed to this group?
- What are some things that would have made the group experience better for you?
Now What? The ‘so what’ questions should flow smoothly into the ‘now what’ questions. These questions should take what was learned from the experience and apply that to future projects or interactions. Questions to ask may include:
- What do you think you will remember or retain in other ways after the experience?
- Can you explain why this might be so?
- What will you probably verbally share with or demonstrate to others in the future?