De-Brief Questions: Master List


Below is a list of questions to use when doing a debrief and review at the end of your team building session or challenge. These questions are great for making sense of the experience and building connections or transfer of learning.

After your group have completed a challenge, pick a couple of questions that will lead them to the learning outcome you are targeting or anything that you noticed during the activity.

General Questions:

  • How did you feel during the activity?
  • What challenges did you face?
  • What did your team have to do or believe to be successful?
  • What positives can you take away from the activity?
  • What was your plan for the activity? How did you come up with it?
  • How can you apply what you learned from this activity in your life or the workplace?
  • How did you feel when you were initially briefed?
  • What advice would you give to any other team working on this activity?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • What surprised you the most?
  • What did you enjoy about the activity? What didn’t you enjoy?
  • What lessons can you learn from this challenge?
  • How well do you feel you contributed as an individual to the task? What was your role?

Communication Questions

  • Do you feel you communicated well as a team?
  • What changes would you make in how you communicated?
  • Did you listen to others in the team?
  • Did everyone have some input?
  • Did everyone understand the plan? If not, why not?
  • How did you ensure everyone knew what was happening?
  • How did you communicate your ideas?

Coaching Point: Communication is central to the success of any team and your participants need to recognise their responsibilities both as an individual and as a team player.  The ability to both listen and discuss often determines success or failure.

Leadership Questions

  • What is good leadership?
  • Did anyone take the lead during the activity?
  • Can you have more than one team leader?
  • How did you leader manage the group? Were you allocated responsibilities?
  • Was you leader a good leader? Why?
  • How important was communication when leading?
  • Who was responsible for the success or failure of the activity?
  • What key qualities does a leader need to have?
  • What is the purpose of a team leader?

Coaching Point: Leadership is an important factor for a team to achieve success. The purpose of leadership is to give clear direction to help achieve a specific goal or outcome. The leader does this by organising the team and providing support, stability and motivation to others to maximize efficiency. How a group chooses to make its decisions is also important.  If a group chooses to have a leader, the leader must have good listening and discussion skills.

Problem Solving Questions

  • What is a goal? Does reaching your goal determine success?
  • How do you achieve your goals?
  • How did you come up with your idea or solution to the problem?
  • Did your team try different ideas? If so, why did you change your approach? What can you learn from this?
  • How important was planning? Did everyone have a role during the challenge?
  • Did the group have a clear action plan and how did you come up with this? 
  • If you failed, what happened next? How did you move past it?
  • Did you spend time reflecting on your approach? Why was that important?
  • Did you adapt your approach to the task at any point? Why did you change it?
  • What did you learn about solving problems during the activity? How can we use this in the future?
  • Why is goal setting important?

Coaching Point: Explain the problem solving model – identify the problem, plan, do, action, review and adapt. Teams usually have no problem proposing several solutions to the problem.  However, they need to be made aware of the difference between ideas and plans.  To plan they need to consider the consequences of their actions.  A common problem is that teams put ideas into action before fully discussing in detail, the merits of all the ideas proposed.  When there is a time restriction on tasks, it is common that the team performance may also become rushed.  When this happens the team usually fails to spend enough time thinking and planning before taking action.

Teamwork Questions

  • Do you feel you worked well as a team?
  • How did you help your team during the activity?
  • Did the whole team agree? Did everyone have an input?
  • What did a fellow team member do that was really helpful?
  • Did anyone in your team surprise you?
  • How important was the support of your team? When do we need support from others in life or the workplace?
  • How did you support others in the team?
  • Did anyone feel left out? Why?
  • What helped you or stopped you from achieving the outcomes?
  • Did you trust your team during the activity? Why was this important?
  • How did you overcome negativity in the team? Did this affect, how you approached the activity?
  • Looking back, what do feel is the most important element of teamwork?
  • How would you rate your teamwork between 1 and 10? 10 being the best value.

Coaching Point: Teamwork is important when working with others towards a shared goal. It allows us to collaborate and share ideas in order to improve. When faced with a difficult challenge, it is helpful having other people there to support and offer advice. This links back to aspects of life and can relate to both every day and workplace problems.

Reflection Questions

  • If you had to do it again, what changes would you make to the way you approach the task?
  • Think about your own personal experience in the activity, what would you do differently next time?
  • Looking back on the activity, what two things stand out to you the most and why?
  • What did you learn through this experience and how can you use it in the future?
  • Before moving on to the next challenge, I would like you to identify one area where you feel you could have contributed more.

Coaching Point: In order to move forwards, we sometimes need to look back and think about our experience and how we can use what we learned to progress. By asking ourselves questions and reflecting on performance, we can work out where we can improve and grow as both individuals and teams.

Failure Questions (Mental Toughness)

  • Since you were unable to solve the problem, does this mean your team failed?
  • How did you feel when you failed the activity?
  • What did you do to turn things around?
  • Is failure a bad thing? Why do you think that?
  • What is more important the completing the activity or learning about ourselves and our team?
  • How did you support others when you found the activity difficult?
  • What did you learn about yourself and your team from the failure of this task?
  • What would you do differently next time?

Coaching Point: Emphasise the importance of the need to fail in order to learn from the experience. Failure teaches us success, as we learn how to adapt and become better at what we do. It also teaches us, the power of resilience when faced with difficult challenges. The most important thing is to learn through the process – sometimes it’s not the destination but the journey that truly matters.



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