Team Performance Debrief – Worth the effort?

I heard a quote once saying: “Feedback is hard to take from family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers.” It illustrates how most of us have a hard time receiving feedback. However, providing feedback is – perhaps because of this  – not so easy either.

So, the question is: Is it worth the effort?

Intuitively most would agree. Anton Villada and Winfred Arthur put this question to the test in the Journal of Applied Psychology. They tested 4-person teams where one group  received an objective debrief (recording and playback), one group received a subjective debrief (memory-based recall), and one group received no debrief.

The outcome:

  • Debriefed teams had higher levels of team performance, team efficacy, openness of communication, and cohesion than non-debriefed teams;
  • There was no difference between teams with an objective debrief or an subjective debrief.

Conclusion: Always debrief (whether objective or subjective)!

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