Mastering the art of the debrief

So you’ve just played a “training game”. Now what?

Performance-training guru Thiagi says, all experiential learning activities are simply an excuse for a debrief.

As a facilitator, mastering the art of the debrief can be a challenge, and a constant learning process. We can guide, not force, adults to reflect on their learning in a way that fuels engagement, empathy, awareness, and learning retention.

One tool to help us work on focused conversations, and guided questioning and listening is the “ORID Framework“, introduced to me by Professor Terrence Maltbia at Columbia University. Its application stretches beyond training debriefs, from presentations to difficult conversations and clearer communication overall.

The nature and sequence of the questions progress in four stages from context to conduct:

Objective → Reflective → Interpretive → Decisional = ORID

Objective – facts

Reflective – feelings, metaphors, images, emotional reactions

Interpretive – meaning, value, patterns, themes

Decisional – outcomes, future intentions

This framework connects nicely to the one developed by Thiagi, which takes us from objective data all the way through to decisionial data with six steps of questioning and listening. There is some debate concerning the order of his first two questions. If we’re following the ORID Framework though, best to first ask, “What happened?”

Try this tool and let me know the results!

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