Debriefing the Conversation

At this stage, you are helping participants create meaning from the conversations and reflect on what they have learned. This can be the most important part of the conversation, so make sure you leave enough time for it. It is really easy to allow the early parts to run long and cut into this section. Resist that temptation at all costs.

Each individual section of your session should include debriefing questions that apply to that section. For longer programs with multiple focus areas, there should also be an overall debrief of the whole program.

As the facilitator at this stage, ask questions of the participants that help them make connections between the session and the rest of their work.

Suggestions include:

  • What was the process like for you?
  • What did you notice?
  • Was anything particularly interesting or surprising?
  • Did you notice any patterns or trends?
  • Do you have any new insights?
  • What happened?
  • How did you feel?
  • What did you learn?
  • Does this remind you of anything in other parts of your life/work?
  • What are you taking away?
  • Anything else to add?

The most effective questions will always be the ones that rise from the conversation in the room. The list here is to give you ideas about the type of questions that are likely to get you the best results and to give you a quick list of possibilities to scan in the moment to spark ideas.