8 essentials for conducting good debriefs

This is taken from my recent interview with APQC.

Their question: In your experience, is there one thing that all great debriefings have in common that allows them to be productive?

And my answer

All good DEBRIEFS have

  • Design: A good agenda agreed to in advance with a specified end sent to the right people.
  • Environment: If this is wrong you are starting from a negative place.
  • Briefing: The set up is vital – the key players need to commit to being there and to understand what the objectives of the session are.
  • Roles: Make sure people know why they are there and what’s expected of them.
  • Intuition: if you are facilitating, trust your judgment and be flexible and willing to go down different pathways; expect the unexpected!
  • Engagement: Be appreciative and encourage laughter. When people laugh they relax and are engaged, when people relax they are often creative, and when people are creative things happen.
  • Food and Beverages: They lubricate the tongue and act as a natural break.
  • Silence: Don’t be afraid to let it hang when you are getting to an uncomfortable moment.