Co-debriefing: when the debriefing is conducted by two

Pier Luigi Ingrassia
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The art of debriefing is made more challenging when 2 or more facilitators have to conduct a debrief together

What is co-debriefing?

It is a debriefing conducted by more than one facilitator.

When is it used?

Having a debriefer and a co-debriefer can be the best solution in the case of debriefing of a multi-professional team, as the two debriefers may have different professional skills and therefore be better able to deal with the multidisciplinary technical aspects.

Interesting. I have never practiced it. Do you have any suggestions?

First of all, the debriefing methods should be previously agreed by the two debriefers at the time of planning the session, in order to prevent any problem of divergences during the debriefing itself.

So, should both the debriefer and the co-debriefer agree in advance on the type of technique, approach and educational strategy they will use?

Of course! Including non-verbal communication between them. For example, you can agree on a non-verbal way to “allow” the other to speak with a special signal, to avoid overlapping during the session. This technique is useful because it ensures that one of the debriefers does not interrupt the reasoning of the other and reduces the risk of moving on to another topic too early, before the discussion on the previous topic has ended.

It seems to me a great idea! Then?

The two debriefers should, of course, to agree on what the main educational objectives will be before starting the debriefing.

So co-debriefing is a great tool!

Not always! The presence of a co-debriefer also poses a number of problems and challenges that can lead to disastrous outcomes, especially if the two facilitators are not in tune and sufficiently trained to work together. Among the many examples that I could list, just think about what could happen if the two debriefers interrupt each other, or talk too much, or contradict each other, or come into conflict not allowing the participants to express themselves adequately!

Ok, I got it: co-facilitation can be helpful but it must be used wisely.

G Capogna, PL Ingrassia, E Capogna, M Bernardini, G Nardone.
Il Debriefing dopo lo scenario di simulazione. Base e Avanzato-Strategico. Manuale per il facilitatore. 2021 Pearson Italia, Milano.
ISBN: 9788891923059

Pier Luigi Ingrassia

Pier Luigi Ingrassia

Centro di Simulazione (CeSi), Centro Professionale Sociosanitario Lugano View all Posts

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