Team Building

Debriefing Your Team

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By Tyler H.

expertbase logo Articles by Tyler H. Team Building Debriefing Your Team

Debriefing Your Team

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Countless leaders struggle to get their teams to participate authentically in discussions. The typical pitfall is in their approach because they do not consider several key components that dictate a group's openness to actively participating in a discussion. We will explore those components here and see how truly easy it can be to get your group talking.

First, a person who is included in a discussion is given a sense of ownership over its development and ultimately the resulting solution. When a leader invites the team members to participate and legitimately hear what everyone in the group says, the group will feel more empowered to share their thoughts. To achieve this a leader actively engages the learners in a process that requires their participation.

Second, leaders should ensure that their processing tools use as many different intelligences as possible. Howard Gardner originally defined seven different intelligences that a person can possess to varying degrees. By using only one technique in a discussion, you alienate many of the 'would be' participants and ultimately many 'would be' solutions. Effective processing involves leaders planning their approach based on the individual learning styles among the group.

Productivity Processing realizes both of these components. It actively engages the participants on an even playing field while guiding them to legitimately share their thoughts and ideas in a way that is personally rewarding. This process involves the team using a product and then performing an activity with the product to spur authentic dialogue. If Productivity Processing were a maths equation it would look like this:

(Product + Activity) + Processing = Productivity Processing

To help you to start using Productivity Processing with your team, let's look at each component of the equation.


The group will create a product that is parallel to the topic under discussion. For example, if you are leading a group of hotel service staff through a process of learning how to improve customer service, you might use a stack of white plates and washable markers to organize problems that staff members identify. The key here is to find a product the participants can interact with in a way that they are comfortable and that will represent clearly the area to be discussed.


Once you have a product the group will interact with, it is important to give clear directions for how the product will be used. Continuing with our hotel staff example, the leader would explain, "We are going to write on each plate one problem that is affecting our ability to achieve 100 percent customer satisfaction. The problem could be a specific example or a general topic. Then we are going to organize and stack the plates by topic as represented by the problem that we wrote on the plate." You will give the staff a specific amount of time to yield the product. The activity should appeal to as many intelligences as is required or possible. (We will look at these shortly.) Of course, the activity should be enjoyable.


Finally, the results of the product and the activity are used to generate dialogue about your specific topic. To commence the processing, you need to represent the product to the group in a way that summarizes it and inspires thought. In our hotel staff example, stack the dishes one on top of another according to like topics. Doing this will generate a bar graph, which will tell you two things. First, the general areas that need to be discussed and second, specific examples of problems the staff encounter in customer service. Once you come up with strategies to effectively eliminate the problem, you wash the dish clean. Better yet, leave the dishes with the problems on them and regularly reconvene the staff to evaluate how we are doing, and clean the plates as problems are resolved.

Productivity Processing is a technique that involves everyone in the staff team on an even playing field. As well, it gives you as the leader some tangible examples represented in an organized way that can be easily followed up on. The purpose of processing with a group is to find a way to illustrate and effectively dialogue about a specific subject and then be able to follow up on it with a clear action plan to the betterment of your group's objective.

When you choose to do Productivity Processing, it is equally important to do it with the best needs of your staff or client in mind. Remember, choosing the right mix of product, activity, and processing is important for the group to buy into the process.

Multiple Intelligences

Everyone learns differently. According to Howard Gardner's original research, there are seven intelligences. They include:

* Spatial Intelligence
* Musical Intelligence
* Linguistic Intelligence
* Logical-mathematical Intelligence
* Interpersonal IntelligenceI
* Intrapersonal Intelligence
* Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence ....

This Article is authored / contributed by ▸ Tyler H. who travels from Mahone Bay, Canada. Tyler is available for Professional Speaking Work both Virtually and In-Person. ▸ Enquire Now.

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