In the last edition of my training tips we talked about the importance of setting up an activity. This time let’s go over the finer points of how to effectively execute an activity debrief. A debrief is a way of questioning participants to help them connect the dots between lessons and activities. There are a few ways you can debrief an activity depending on its complexity. Here are some training tips that will help you become an expert “debriefer” so that participants can get the most out of their learning opportunity, be able to process what just happened and up the likelihood that they will implement their new skill back on the job!
Here are some training tips for debriefing activities.
For simple activities, a quick and immediate debrief is all that is needed. Once the activity is finished, immediately asking a few questions like “Why was this important?” makes it more of a group discussion.
You can pair participants up with a couple of questions as a guide for discussion and then take a few examples from the group to make sure that your participants have the opportunity to hear different perspectives.
For more complex skill building activities, using a debrief question like “Given what you just experienced, how will you use this in the future?” give your participants a few quiet moments to process on their own (write it down) and then open it up to a group discussion.
Here are some other sample questions:
What just happened?
Why is this important?
What are you going to do with this?
What did you think?
How might this apply to your job/life?
How did you feel while you did the activity?
What was one of the challenges of doing this activity?
What did the group have to do or believe to be successful?
What was one positive thing that happened?
How can you apply what you just learned to other challenges you face?
How can you apply what you learned in this activity to your life and work?
How did that make you feel?
Processing helps learners make connections between their training experiences and real life situations. By asking a few powerful questions you will enhance their ability to put their learning to work. Now, go break a leg!
Chris Perillo is the Countess of Curriculum for Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. She has 25 years of experience in organizational development and training. She’s got a proven track record of developing & implementing innovative tools and solutions during transformative change. Best of all, she brings the same energy and fun to her training as you’ve come to expect from our Red-Carpet Learning Systems! www.RedCarpetLearning.com