Leadership Matters: The 5 most powerful debrief questions

Here’s why they’re important for good coaches to ask.

Debriefing should be a significant part of any project because, oddly enough, we learn more from an event or project once it’s all over than we do during its execution. And yet, we often finish something and move on without meeting to discuss and reflect on the way things went down.

But there really is value in debriefing—and there’s an art to it, too. You don’t want to gloss over the good or the bad; you want to find out what worked and what didn’t. Moreover, you want to be able to learn from it.

Think about the way a sports coach creates a game plan. Only after watching the team play can the coach see what works and what doesn’t and then create a strategy for the next game. As a manager and coach (albeit of the non-sporting kind), you’re doing the same thing when you debrief.

Your best bet is to ask a few powerful questions post-project that focus on learning and community building, rather than on measuring success. Don’t set this up for failure by making it a finger-pointing affair; rather, consider it as a way to work on strategy.


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