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Debriefing Models

By Martha Lasley
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How do we add more variety in our debrief process? The same way we want variety in our coaching, the debriefing process is enhanced when we create space for the unexpected. If you’re tired of some version of “What did you learn?” let’s explore some other options.

Several debriefing models follow.

Thiagi: Sequencing the debrief

  • How do you feel?
  • What happened?
  • What did you learn?
  • How does it relate?
  • What if?
  • What next?

Borton: Shifting from analytic to contemplative to action

  • What?
  • So what?
  • Now What?

What: hard driving, pointed, sharp, logical, tough, rigorous
So what: contemplation
Now what: action

Priest & Gass Debriefing Funnel: Expands on Borton's 3 questions in their Debriefing Funnel:

  • Review
  • Recall and Remember
  • Affect and Effect
  • Summation
  • Application
  • Commitment

Greenaway: This model generates higher involvement and higher quality discussions, useful when you really want to land the learning deeply.

1 - 2 – All

1: solo reflecting or writing or make a brief personal statement
2: talking in pairs
3: Whole group discussion

or in reverse order:

All - 2 - 1

or to maximize the learning:

1 - 2 - All - 2 – 1

Greenaway also developed the Spinning Plates model that encourages deviation from the debrief process model. The facilitator pays attention to the plate that is most likely to fall next…any plate that has escaped recent attention… and this keeps changing…

Rosenberg: Nonviolent Communication – use to deepen awareness

  • Observations – What did you see or hear that stands out?
  • Feelings – How do you feel about your experience?
  • Needs – What needs are most important to you right now?
  • Requests – What action request do you have of yourself?

Race: Ripple. Wanting to Learn is at the center of concentric circles

Rippling outward:

  • doing (practice coaching)
  • making sense (focus on what you learned)
  • feedback (how did feedback from your client impact your learning)
  • training (how did the training impact your learning)
  • understanding (what is your new understanding)

These ripples are simultaneous, not cyclical.

Rippling inward: revisit the desire to learn

DeBono: Six Thinking Hats

International Cultural Affairs: ORID – this could be particularly useful on the Multicultural Coaching Day

  1. Objective (observations) – Getting the Facts, Information, Sensory Impressions
    What happened?
  • What did you see/hear?
  • What words or phrases caught your attention?
  • What events do you remember?
  • What else happened that contributed to the discomfort?

2. Reflective (reactions) – Personal impact, Associations, Emotions, Images

  • What was your first response?
  • How did you feel?
  • What excited you; what frustrated you?
  • What is your reaction to what has happened?
  • What has been the hardest for you?

3. Interpretive (importance) – Meaning, Values, Significance, Purpose, Implications

  • What are the main issues?
  • What’s really behind all this?
  • What are the implications?
  • What are the needs or values you are holding here?
  • What are the insights?

4. Decisional (direction) – Resolution, Action, Next Steps

  • What change is needed?
  • What do you want?
  • What shall we do to heal?
  • What are you committed to?
  • What are the next steps?

Learning Styles Debrief: To encourage full engagement of different learning styles

  • Auditory – Listen to your Inner Wisdom
  • Visual – Draw a picture of your experience
  • Kinesthetic – Physically act out what you learned

Rough: Dynamic Facilitation – especially useful if the group is into something controversial, the group is stuck, or working on something very challenging.

  1. Purging: sharing what we already know
  2. Transition: feeling discomfort at not knowing what to do with all that’s been said
  3. Excitement: sensing creative possibilities emerging

In the first stage of purging what participants already know, we draw them out, help them feel heard, and record their contributions. Create a mind map, capturing the essence of what everyone says, using their language on one of four flip charts:

  1. problem statements or inquiries
  2. solutions or ideas
  3. concerns or difficulties
  4. data or perspectives

Coaching is life-changing, world-changing work. The coaching programs at Leadership that Works go beyond theories and models and work with clients on a deeper level. You learn how to coach the whole person: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Whole person Transformation.

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