Facilitator Tips Episode 44

Seven Reasons Why Debriefing Is Important


This week’s Facilitator Tips episode is the first of four tutorials focused on helping you expand your knowledge and understanding of group processing, reflection or debriefing skills.

The video series is broken into four questions, and the first is Why Debrief?

To adequately develop the requisite skills to conduct an effective reflection or debrief, it is important to first understand why a debrief is necessary. This episode explores seven of the most important reasons why you may choose to, or should, process a group’s experience.

Click the play button below to start (or further) your enquiry about debriefing skills.


<< Go to Episode 43   Go to Episode 45 >>

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Useful Links & Resources


  • What To Debrief – the second in our series of video tutorials focused on group processing skills.
  • When To Debrief – the third in our series of video tutorials focused on group processing skills.
  • How To Debrief – the fourth & final instalment of our series of video tutorials focused on group processing skills. Or in other words, this video will help you ask good debrief questions.
  • Useful Debriefing Tips – a bunch of useful and practical tips to help you lead an effective reflection session with your group.


Video Transcript


Hi there and welcome to the Facilitator Tips video series.

My name is Mark Collard, and today we look at processing, debriefing, or reflection in Episode 44.

Now, this is actually the first of four parts. It’s such a big topic, trying to keep these into smaller chunks, we’re going to focus on four individual questions although they’re interrelated, and when I kick off with, the why.

Now the presumption here is that with your programs that there is some educational component involved. That is an ability of your group to learn, grow, or develop. And I think it’s the most critical question to ask to begin with. Why would you bother to ask your group to reflect or process or debrief their experience?

Here’s a few of my keys. One, you want to be able to draw learning out. It’s not enough just to simply do something. In fact, I talk about that in an earlier episode that learning by doing is not the same as experiential learning. So the ability to process with your group will draw learning out.

It also adds meaning. Hey, we all understand that if you had twelve people all looking at the same experience, you’ve probably got twelve different ways of looking at it. So by everyone adding in their own perspectives you’ve got a greater opportunity of actually, if you want to call it, finding the truth or adding meaning or interpreting that particular experience.

Makes things clear, for the same reason. Your perspective is different to mine, so if we can add them all together we gain a great deal of clarity to understand why that just happened.

Managing conflict. This is one that’s often missed, is that it is actually your responsibility if the group does not have the social skills to be able to manage their conflict gracefully. This is not about removing conflict. That’s not possible. All groups have conflict, but in the beginning, they will look to you as the facilitator to help them manage that conflict. It’s another reason why you need to process or ask your group to reflect.

Feedback. You know, you could have your own understandings or perspectives of what’s going on, but this is a way for you to find out from the group by asking series of questions and inviting them to reflect.

It’s a check-in as well for you… Oh, I think the group is at this level but maybe we need to quickly debrief.

And then finally and this is a critical one, if they have the opportunity to reflect, they start to own the discoveries and the learning and the development that’s occurring within the group.

So again, really quickly, there’s volumes written in this whole theme of processing and reflection, but there’s just a few reasons why you might choose to debrief.

Okay, if you’ve got some comments, things you would like to add, please add a comment, or indeed share this with your other friends.

Remember, this is the first of four parts.

We’ll look at the next question in our next episode.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you then. Bye for now.


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