Just a short post here, with more to come. I think this issue of debriefing is a very critical one, one that connects the learning experience to changes in behavior back at the workplace.
I connected with Roger Greenaway a while back and he sent me an article that he published in one of Mel Silberman’s Active Training books.
(And I was very sorry to learn that Mel died in 2010, since we had been friends for 20 years. I think the training community will miss Mel, for sure.)
Roger’s ideas and frameworks greatly expand my perspectives on debriefing and it will be my goal to put a few of his ideas into the frameworks of debriefing Square Wheels as well as our different team building games. All of my games are designed to be “an excuse for debriefing.” What a good debriefing does is allow the individuals and groups to better understand how their decisions and planning impacted the play of the game — and then how those things relate to behavior back on the job.
For years, I have asked individuals to give “one minute of silent contemplation” to something like Square Wheels One. This to allow individuals to put their spin on what they see happening and thus they have more to say in any group discussion. I would then ring a bell and allow them 15 more seconds, and then ask them to work as a tabletop to put together group ideas.
Roger’s writings taught me a number of different, and I think better ideas. He also adds a good “conceptual context” for a lot of the key points. One concept he discussed was called, “1 – 2 – ALL” and added the idea of taking the tabletop and allowing paired discussions before moving to the full table. I had always leaped from individual to group.
The reality is that all of us know more than any of us. So we need everyone involved and engaged and participating. Ownership involvement is critical.
In my Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine game, we play with tables no larger than 5 to 6 people, so I am not sure if the advantages of the paired discussions are as obviously beneficial as it would be if I was having to deal with tables of 10. On occasion, I have been forced to do that for a large conference session where the room was used for more than just my session and where I would have no control as to table size.
So, I think that is a great idea.
I will elaborate on more ideas for debriefing for improved performance in the next week or so.
You can reach Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org