You’ll never win when you only debrief what went wrong. This is like trying to coach a basketball team by only telling them what not to do.
If you want to win more as a team at work, then debrief every major project (e.g. project completion, grant application, board meeting, policy or system implementation) as a team by talking about 1) What did we do well that we should try again in similar situations? and 2) What didn’t go as well as we hoped and what do we want to try doing differently next time?
Use the following facilitated debriefing tactics gleaned from research to make your debriefs even more likely to help you win:
- Address each other directly and as a team. Your ability to continue to learn and self-correct your team depends on establishing a safe learning climate. To do this, you will need to remember that titles and status are irrelevant during debriefs and that you must participate and encourage others to do so.
- Analyze why situations happened. Think about what events contributed to the final outcome and what behaviors influenced those events. Offer behavioral examples for discussion by the team.
- Discuss how you were affected by other’s actions. What did they do that helped you? What information or help do you wish you were given by others?
- Discuss what you were thinking. Explain your rationale for doing or not doing something. What was your understanding of what was happening at the time and how was that accurate and inaccurate?
- Discuss what went well. What did the team do right that it should keep doing?
- Discuss what could be improved and how. What could be done differently to make teamwork easier in similar situations next time?
- Discuss what factors enabled or impeded your success. What obstacles to teamwork were inherent in the situation and how could the team work around in the future? What situational factors contributed to the team’s success and how could the team leverage these factors in similar future situations? What tools help you do good teamwork?
- Discuss how to apply what you learned to your job. Concentrate on finding two to three new things you can do or tools you can use to ensure you work well on teams tomorrow in any situation.
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