During a debriefing, the answers you give are just as important as the answers you’re getting from your learners. Good questions need good answers, and in order to ensure your learners are getting the most out of debriefings, good answers are vital. So how can you make sure you’re giving the best answers, and getting them from your learners? Below, we outline five tips for giving and receiving good answers in debriefings.
1. Alleviate uncertainty.
Good answers in debriefings should resolve any uncertainty amongst learners. When posing a question when debriefing, make sure you are actively listening to discussions for hints of learner uncertainty. If there is any sense of uncertainty, make sure you give examples to provide as much clarity in your debriefing answers as possible.
2. Encourage further learning.
It’s important to ask questions and listen for answers that encourage further learning. When participants answer your questions with examples of application, you will know the question was thoroughly understood. Answers that explain how the learner will apply the knowledge on the job or additional resources the learner will use are great examples of answers that encourage further learning.

3. Be understandable, clear and concise.
It’s important to use language in your debriefing answers that is easily comprehendible by learners. Repeating language from the posed question in your answer will ensure you are giving clear answers. By using consistent terminology and messaging, you will create a greater sense of understanding and engagement amongst your learners.
To remain clear and understandable throughout the debriefing, it’s important to stick to the point and be clear with your questions and answers. Conciseness will ensure you give and receive good answers. It’s easy to get lost in a thought or trail on with your answers. Be straightforward with your answers, but make sure you completely answered the question.
4. Ask for clarification.
If you’re unsure of learner comprehension based on a response, or don’t understand the question, ask the learner to elaborate. Remember; don’t be afraid to ask for extra clarification. In order to give and receive great answers, the question must be fully understood.
5. Verify understanding.
A great way to measure your answer’s effectiveness is simple – ask the learners. After answering a question, use validation follow-up questions like, “Did I answer your question?” or “Is there anything else I can clarify?” This is a great way to ensure your answer was complete and relevant. By validating that the question was accurately addressed, you will deliver more effective answers.  

By Scott Enebo

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