The Power of Debriefing

Evaluated experience is what creates wisdom; it isn’t solely the experience itself. However, it seems that often times in business we don’t pause long enough to evaluate our presentations, events or processes. Many businesses just plow along doing the same thing time and time again; when simply taking the time to debrief after an important experience could lead to a breakthrough.


The originations of debriefings were in the military after battles. This time was valuable since it allowed the leaders to evaluate what went right, but it also gave the soldiers a voice. The troops being allowed to have input allowed them to function more cohesively as a team and provided an opportunity to release some emotional baggage. Each of these items certainly would boost morale and I would suggest even save lives.


Would you agree that there are times in business that it seems like a battle? I do not want to infer that business and work life are near the act of valor as a soldier endures but I do believe that we can learn from the technique in which military leaders created.


many small light bulbs equal big one


Recently I found myself as a dinner guest at another company’s function. Listening to this group of co-workers discuss various aspects of their business was enlightening. Often times having the vantage point of being on the outside of a situation and peering in, there is amazing clarity.


The dinner was in full swing and more and more individuals became comfortable in sharing struggles that they experience in their particular roles. The struggles ranged from being frustrated with corporate processes, co-worker relationships, feeling undervalued and not feeling like they could impact change. There was an alarming sense of, well…. That’s just how we have always done it! Which is one of the most dangerous mentalities to have in business.


So as I listened to all of the opinions and commentary it was overwhelmingly clear that simply adapting the corporate culture to one of change and improvement would solve many of these concerns. I am fortunate to work for a young and fast growing company that has this mindset. The group that I was with this evening worked for a large and very old company; changing culture in a very large organization can be a challenge.


Corporate culture stems form the top; corporate policy and procedures also stem from the top. Throughout this dinner, from my consultant’s viewpoint I wanted to have the opportunity to share with this company’s leadership that simply adapting one small facet of their processes would make a radical difference in their production, client’s experience and the lives of their employees.


Make debriefings a mandatory part of the corporate culture.


After each experience having a designated time and format to ask, What did we do right? What can we do better on next time? Never begin with, What did we do wrong?


These simple questions will spawn a conversation that leads to a company that is consistently revising and improving their events and meetings. Organizations that have implemented this procedure and tracked their productivity and success have seen a marked increase in overall productivity.


In addition, it allows every team member to be heard. This forum to share their voice certainly reduces the harboring of angst or ill feelings towards co-workers. Debriefings encourage creativity in thinking of how we can improve both individually and corporately. All of these things lend to a greater morale internally, but also a greater client, patient or patron experience for those that are being served.


One of my favorite beliefs that I have learned from DDS Financial is how


Frustration Leads To Breakthrough.


The idea that Frustration Leads to Breakthrough is so true. However, I firmly believe that there should be an organized way to share exactly what everyone’s frustrations are, so that everyone has an opportunity to create, implement and share in that breakthrough moment.


Implement the debriefing after your next meeting or event. It will allow you the opportunity to evaluate your experience. It is the wise thing to do!



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