Chris Caswell and Julian Kea with the Debriefing Cube | Episode 167

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Julian Kea is a bilingual serious game facilitator and team coach based in Berlin. Though activating learning environments with minds-on workshop methods he enables teams to exchange ideas authentically, promote mutual understanding and strengthen their cooperation. These methods include Training from the BACK of the Room, Thiagi’s Interactive Training and Teaching Strategies, Agile Classrooms, Open Space Technology and LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, just to name a few. Julian is a Kanban Management Professional, Certified ScrumMaster and Product Owner and holds a degree in business administration (DH) and a Master of Business Administration from the Steinbeis School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE). Since 2010 he works for clients in industries such as banking, consulting, e-commerce, aviation, luxury goods, engineering, pharmaceuticals and insurance. His mantra is “Rediscover Learning. Work Smarter.”

Chris Caswell. A proactive, principle-centered evangelist of the Agile philosophy, Chris is passionate about driving continuous improvement and collaboration to improve Agile ways of working.  Chris uses a combination of personal coaching, workshops, training and games to help solve problems across organizations, within teams and with individuals.

The Debriefing Cube


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Full episode transcription

Rob (5s):
Welcome Professor Game podcast, where we interview successful practitioners of games, gamification and game thinking who bring us the best of their experiences to get ideas, insights, and inspiration that help us in the process of getting the students to learn what we teach. And I’m Rob Alvarez. I teach and work at IE Business School in Madrid, where we create interactive and engaging learning materials. Want to know more? Go to, start on our email list and ask me anything! Hey, engagers, welcome once again to the Professor Game podcast, we are today with not one but two guests, Julian and Chris and guys, are you prepared to engage?

Chris (50s):

Julian (51s):

Rob (54s):
Let’s do this. This is one of the very few, you know, two in one interview that we’ve done, but we have a very specific topic that we’re going to be delving into today, but let me quickly introduce to you both Julian and Chris. Julian Kea is a bilingual series game facilitator and a team coach based in Berlin though, activating learning environments with mind minds on workshops methods he enables or through actually enables teams to exchange ideas authentically promote mutual understanding and strengthen their cooperation. Of course, these methods include training from the back of the room, geographies, interactive training and teaching strategies, agile classrooms, open space technology and Lego Serious Play.

Rob (1m 39s):
Just some of them is also a canvas management professional is certified scrum master and a product owner, and also a degree in business administration and a master’s of business administration from the stain base or something like that in German, probably of international business and entrepreneurship. And since 2010, he works for clients and industries such as banking consulting, e-commerce aviation, luxury goods, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and insurance, and his mantra is rediscover learning, work smarter. Onto Chris. He is a proactive principle-centered evangelist of the agile philosophy. As you can see agile, scrum and all these things that are part of the, of the center of this episode today, because Chris is also passionate about driving continuous improvement and collaboration to improve agile ways of working use a combination of personal coaching workshops and training and games, of course, to help solve problems across organizations, within teams and with individuals.

Rob (2m 37s):
So that is a bit about both. Is there Julian, Chris, is there anything else that I’ve missed that you probably want to mention before we kick-off?

Julian (2m 43s):
We know each other for ages,

Chris (2m 50s):
it was pretty good.

Rob (2m 52s):
Fantastic. So another thing that I didn’t actually mention is that you guys, and that’s the reason that’s, what brings us together at this time. It is the debriefing cube. You might engage, as you might remember, or not from the interview with Cedric Pontet that he mentioned both Chris and Julian and the debriefing cube, and first things first, Julian, Chris, what is the debriefing cube?

Chris (3m 18s):
So it’s a tool we’ve made to help people who have the opportunity to debrief things with a team or with a group of people to do it really well and to get better at doing it.

Julian (3m 34s):
And to add to that, you know, the tool obviously includes a cube, which is six lenses, so different perspectives. We’re definitely going to talk about that later. And it includes tons of questions, like more than 150 debriefings, powerful questions that one could use to prepare or then interact with learners during or after a simulation or a game.

Rob (3m 58s):
That sounds fantastic. And just in case, you’re wondering, and you haven’t heard this debriefing thing before, you’ve heard it only in spy movies. And so on debriefing, in this case, is what happens after, of course, you have some sort of activity, some learning activity which could involve simulations games and so on. And then you do you finish that you sort of getting out of the game, the simulated environment and you say, well, you, you sort of reflecting, it’s kind of a reflection time. I don’t know if that’s, that’s, that’s accurate with what you guys are, are talking about today, but that is at least the experience we have. Is there, is there anything that you would add to that sort of very wild definition I just gave

Chris (4m 35s):
Good. I think we would agree with the word reflect. I don’t think we would, we would also add to that in terms of, we absolutely fundamentally believe that the most important part of the experience that we correct when we’re using games at work is the debrief. It’s the reflection at the end of it because it’s the thing that brings everything together and allows us to really make mindfulness. And I might bring in internalize some of the lessons that the game potentially taught us.

Julian (5m 5s):
Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, there were times where were I started saying, ah, the debriefing is the other half right of the game. And then it started that I was saying, well, the game is like only a third. Now I just say the game is like a fourth of your whole intervention, right? Because you get briefed, you do the design, then you do facilitate, and then you want to, you know, have a powerful debriefing to enable learners to convert their experiences to actions and in the real world. Right. That’s, that’s what it’s all about.

Rob (5m 38s):
That makes a lot, a lot of sense. In fact, we were, we were chatting about this before we started. I mean the business school, I teach at the university where we create interactive materials as well. One of the main things when we’re creating the simulations that we create and the games very, very important is what are you doing to debriefing? And in fact, I was a jury I think was, was the name or evaluate or something like that for an organization. And they were, you know, giving a certificate, to this other organization who created this game. One of the things that, one of the comments that the three of us, the three of us, the judges that we were, there was the main comment was this game is fantastic. I’m sure after you leave from this, you probably know new things.

Rob (6m 21s):
The only problem is it’s not considering. And literally, it didn’t have any, again with a facilitator or not. It didn’t have a debriefing. So our main comment was maybe even if you learn things, you have them sort of, interiorized in a, in a very subconscious way. If you don’t bring that to the forefront, you don’t make it mindful. You don’t realize all those things that you have learned, applying It will then be very, very difficult because you don’t know that you don’t know, or you don’t know that, you know, and that makes it a lot. And in my opinion, it, it w it was that that final phase, even if it’s final, if it’s, as you were saying, 75%, you know, 20%, whatever that is, it is very important to be able to cement that learning, cement, that experience that you had to be able, and again, in my humble opinion, to be able to do these things.

Rob (7m 10s):
And it’s, I think it’s fantastic that you created this tool that is geared at changing maybe a little bit, our mindsets in that sense. So how did you come up with this idea? How, how did the debriefing cube come to be?

Chris (7m 22s):
Well, w we can tell you the story, just not on that topic though. I think you can, you can look at it as a, a kind of a measure of hit rate, right? So imagine me, we’ve played a game where we know that there are some really cool things to learn from this game. Now you can play the game alone and people will enjoy it and do mission, and you’ll have a certain hit rate, right. Or people that managed to see from that experience, Kate, or a couple of epiphanies of, of, of, of occurred the debrief is the catalyst for that, right? So if we take the time and as the student says, we should take a really good amount of time for this to, to reflect on what just happened. And, and, and in all sorts of different ways, we start to increase that hit rate, right.

Chris (8m 5s):
We start to get more people seeing that experience and connecting it to their own experience in their own worlds, and then more epiphanies going off. Okay. And then you see this magical thing that then begins to happen is that when one person starts to talk about what they’ve just perceived from their experience that triggers more hits than other people, is there a site to see the thing that they’ve experienced from someone else’s point of view, right? And this catalyzation of different points of view, different experiences shared and reflected means that at the end of that, debrief, you really maximize the potential of that game could have had, which we think is absolutely magical.

Julian (8m 43s):
Yeah, absolutely. So I would, I would say, you know, through this debriefing conversation, or maybe even just by posing the questions, you can make these individual experiences, Or all of the individual experiences really into a shared experience for a group or a team, and that’s where the power comes from.

Rob (9m 8s):
Absolutely. Absolutely. I have to agree with that and thank you for the sort of jumping in and making, making that, that point, which was absolutely fantastic. And getting, getting back to the question before, because I do think we draw a lot of inspiration from these things because it’s, I mean, I’m sure we will find a lot of inspiration and then a lot of use for the debriefing cube, which we’ll get into details right now, but that stage of how did you come up with it? What happened? What triggered it may be as well, like I’d like to, to, to get the engagers into your minds in that sense, so that we can also, again, draw inspiration and see maybe some of the engagers we’ll get into something similar as well. Yeah.

Julian (9m 46s):
So look, we have both been part of the play 14 community, and we both have been at the first play 14 in Romania Timisoara, and that was 2017. Right. So three years ago, in fact, yeah, three years ago. And of course, we offered a couple of sessions and we observed each other’s and, you know, eventually we, we started talking or seeing that we were asking the same debriefing questions over and over. Right. What did you observe? How did you feel, what was the experience like, you know, and everyone has his, or her favorite debriefing questions, which, which are, you know, good in a sense.

Julian (10m 31s):
And then, yeah, Chris and I, we, we just kept this conversation on Chris. I don’t know, for, for a year via zoom and Skype, and just talking about what would be, if we could, you know, unlock different angles or if we could, you know, minimize blind spots, both, both sides, right. For, from the participants and player side, but also from the facilitator side. And that, that was the initial start. Wasn’t it? Chris, did I forget something in a story?

Chris (11m 5s):
Yeah. You’re, you’re very kind, but Julian knows that a slightly, slightly less, less even he’s admitting because he’s already when I met Julian, he was already excellent that’s right. Julian is excellent. Most things, very annoying as a person he’d observed me using the same de-briefing questions quite a lot. And, but we had gotten friendly enough for him to be comfortable to challenge me on that, which is wonderful. So actually, I think I recall Julian that actually within the same weekend, we drafted the first debriefing cube, a very simple, very, you know, embryonic, but we, we, we, we had this epiphany that this ability that we all were expected have this, this, the skill set to, to be able to facilitate a game and then lead a great debrief.

Chris (11m 59s):
It’s just taken for granted, right. Which just assumed as everyone can just do it. And it isn’t particularly well-loved or well written about, you know, that you can’t go and train to get to become a good debriefer. And, you know, and if we think about it, it’s absolutely necessary. And key. If, if we are to be able to leave people with this type of experience and help them get the most out of it. So it was a problem. This is a problem we’re in this whole community, which is founded upon playfulness in gaming as a, as a vehicle to learn, which requires this art form called debriefing. And yet, you know, if we look around it isn’t particularly mastered, right.

Chris (12m 43s):
Julian, you know, as, as being an exception, I would say, the, generally speaking, people sort of blunder through it, get through it because they know they have to, even though it’s uncomfortable. So we thought maybe we should do something about that. Maybe this is maybe we could build something to help people get better at this, then, you know, find the pathway to mastery. And that’s what we designed it that weekend. We put it together, it would pay 14 works as open space. So we just took a bit of time out. We got some paper and pens and we created this thing. And then we, we tested it, I think in the same, in the same weekend

Julian (13m 17s):
That weekend. And then I guess the first, I remember what I was scribbling, the icons that, that was when I flew back from Luxembourg. So I guess like, like half a year later or so we presented it at another play fourteen and Luxembourg. And then, you know, got some early feedback, obviously on, on the questions and middle lenses, I guess in wearing really called lenses back in the days. And I guess the original version also had like a seventh lens that was inside of the cube, but, you know, and it was just too, Look, let’s be honest. There, there are lots of, you know, game descriptions out there, books, websites, et cetera.

Julian (13m 57s):
And of course, they will feature one or two, maybe more debriefing questions. But what they’re losing is the context that you specifically are offering and facilitating the game, the, you know, topic of the day that you want to be discovered that you were hired for, that you, you know, had on the agenda or have on the agenda and the players. I mean, who are your participants? What are they up to weather, weather? What is their language, right? What are they observing? And then obviously personal preferences of the facilitator, right? So I guess we need a whole set of awareness during the simulation and before, and the design process.

Julian (14m 43s):
And we need definitely to nudge lots of facilitators out there that there are more than 20 questions that you went could ask.

Rob (14m 55s):
So you’re, you’re, I would say it seems at least from the outside that you are basically inspired by making questions. Would that be appropriate?

Chris (15m 5s):
I guess we were inspired by, I was inspired by Julian and we were inspired by the opportunity. The questions came quite a bit later, actually, the cube began with, with, with the lenses as they came to be called the lenses, it’s called a cube by the way. So if we can, if we can’t imagine in your mind now cube, dice. Yeah. And we called it that because we came up with six different seven, as you mentioned, the internal, but six different sides that would, we could think about as different ways to approach the debriefing questions, different sorts of lines of questioning or explorations or curiosity to, to you can, you can, you can just take those six different things and, and, and debrief every situation in each of those ways, which kind of takes from where we were beginning, which was, we were in a place where everyone was asking one or two or three sorts of standard questions given us, you know, six different pools of, of different questions to, to explore w which is where it began and then it, and then it kind of evolved from there.

Julian (16m 15s):
Yeah. And, and I was, you know, inspired by the conversation we, we started. And again, it, it, it w Hey, remember us, you know, putting together the first draft and then the lenses and, and really discussing every word and challenging us and experimenting with testing it, obviously the early feedback, and then, you know, going out there and, and just asking that question, what is your favorite debriefing question? And have you considered using X, Y, Z, right. And then eventually, you know, the list became better and better. And the, yeah, the debriefing cube became a product, right. Which we are giving away free. I don’t know if we’ve mentioned that this is all like a creative commons license because we think this is way more important than us, you know, making money out of it.

Rob (17m 7s):
Which, which is not illegal. It is not immoral, but it is very, very, very nice that you guys are giving this away for free. Absolutely. For sure. And that is absolutely fantastic as well. I, I mean, as part of the community, what are the potential people that could be utilizing this? I would definitely have to thank you guys for, offering this sort of openly and now that we’re, we’re sort of getting into it. We know where it comes from. Can you spend, I don’t know, five, eight minutes explaining, of course, remember this is a podcast, usually, you know, things like a cube or easier seen than, than other things, but I mean, I’m sure you’ve, you’ve done this a few times and you can, we have a very smart audience as well.

Rob (17m 50s):
Our engagers Have been through this many times, so is there, is there, I mean, can you give us an again, five, maybe 10 minutes explanation of how the cube would work or, and of course, the lead us into where we can find maybe a bit more visual information as well.

Julian (18m 4s):
All right, Chris, I’ll start. And then you just jump in or we’d take turns, right?

Chris (18m 10s):

Julian (18m 11s):
The cube, this Card game one 50 questions. And at dice, that’s the setup. Right. And I’ll go and explain the lenses, and then we can maybe read some questions and the, how to use the, set of tool to tool then in general, maybe. All right. So let’s start with the lenses. Okay. Six lenses, six sides of a dye. And it’s all about the goal. So you can, you know, focus your learners after, or even before simulation on the goal, or on the process, or on group dynamics on communication, obviously on emotions or on the takeaways.

Julian (19m 2s):
Right? So these are the six lenses and every lens comes with a couple of questions and it is a card deck, literally, right? It’s a, it’s a deck of cards. You can print them out, you can cut them, and then you will have four questions on every card. You will have the main question. And then, you know, as the conversation is going on, you might want to make use of the deepening questions as, as we call them or follow-up questions. Okay. And how can you use them? Again, when you design and a workshop and meeting a learning experience, you can, of course, have a look at the set and pick your favorite questions.

Julian (19m 49s):
Right? Pick the questions that, again, make sense for the topic at hand, for the group that you will be facilitating and of course, personal preferences. And for that, and I think this is, I don’t know, it’s underrated, people tend to forget. There are also some cards in the deck where you can write your own favorite question. So we strongly encourage every facilitator to not just copy and paste our tool and to use those questions exactly. As they’re written, but to, you know, think about, yeah, who, who are you focusing? What is, what is the language that they would like to use? And maybe you have wonderful coaching or powerful question-asking skills, and then you can obviously add them to the set.

Julian (20m 39s):
All right, Chris, Over to you.

Chris (20m 43s):
Yeah. So that, I mean, that’s the kind of the inspiration thing. So thinking as a facilitator, how I would use the deck is, is that way really is that I’m thinking about the game I’m about to play or the experience we’re about to have, I’m thinking about, you know, what I expect to have happened. Therefore I can pick some kind of core questions, which were, seem like they have a good flow to them. And they, it gives me, it gives me something over preparation so that when I go into the debrief, I’m kind of armed and ready to ask some cool questions. Sometimes just going through the deck kind of inspires you. That’s a really nice question. Maybe I can just do a version of that. And, and, and often what happens, I have to then pair back all of these wonderful questions into a series of these, these, these are the right questions and then take them in its things sometimes change when you do the debrief, at least you have that.

Chris (21m 31s):
I know I no longer going to be asking the one, understand that, how did you feel with that question? I’m going to ask me lots of different questions or looking at lots of different angles, what happened? So what happened next? It was really interesting. Actually, this is evolutionary design is best, is that we discovered that part of our rationale in designing this tool was we had a persona in mind where you’re thinking about some, a new facilitator, someone who is new to facilitation the new, facilitating their first game. Okay, that’s our persona. This, this is the person we really wanted to help, right? Because we feel like if we help that person be probably helping everybody else as well.

Chris (22m 13s):
And what we realized is that actually, we could use this tool. So these questions in a way that’s very self-organized so that you don’t need to have that ability to stand in front of people and ask them lots of questions and hear their answers and ask more questions and follow up and go deeper and go wider. And all those sorts of things, you do it in our debrief. You can give them this deck of cards and allow them to ask, find a question and ask that question of each other in a, in a group, or in a team. And then the whole experience of the debrief and the conversation that ensues becomes to some extent self-organized, which is kind of cool because it takes away any requirement of facilitation skill.

Chris (22m 58s):
And it also takes away the limitation of scale. So if you want to run a big, a big experience with, you know, hundreds of people that using the tool in this way, where people can find their own questions and, and reflect and re lead their own reflection in the small groups is a magical thing. So, so this is what are the next ways of using the tool is, is to, there’s kind of two ways to go about it. Either you give them the whole deck and we give them, we give them dice and the dice is, it’s got the six lenses on it rather than numbers or dots. And they use the dice to randomize a reflection question. And they ask that question of each other to reflect one, the experience they had.

Chris (23m 43s):
And, and, and you might think, okay, well, how do you know that’s going to be relevant? And that’s one of the questions that was like, in my mind, when we ran this as an experiment, you know, is the question you’re going to, you’re going to get randomized always relevant, but there’s something magical happens with the art of conversation and the human brain that kind of draws connections to the question that you ask, you know, whether you would have asked that question to begin with or not, and the people find those connections and have a great conversation anyway. So, so it’s kinda, it’s kinda cool. The other way to do this is, is that you can do the preparation thing, right? So if you know that actually, this is a really nice series of questions, which kind of explore the experience, you know, that they’ve just had in a certain way, you can get them that series, and they can go through the questions one by one, asking each other those questions and then exploring it.

Chris (24m 31s):
And then we could finish up that entire sort of experience of some sharing. So that moment, when we want to get that kind of catalyst effect of more, more people hearing and being inspired by other people, and then your debrief is kind of nailed,

Julian (24m 46s):
And huh, did you even, you know, some ways in between that, right? For example, you could give every learner one card and have them interact in, you know, in a series of conversations with other players and you know, their question. And I think Chris, what I love about this self debriefing approach, or if you break up a larger group or even small group into individual debriefing conversations, do your two things that are magical about that. Number one time to speak about your experience after a simulation or a game is reduced.

Julian (25m 29s):
Okay. So when you can, again, this is just a half a minute thing. Okay. Here are some cards find a partner, talk about the questions. Okay. So while the experience is still fresh, you can still sense it and feel it. And the memory is still fresh. You can already digest it and talk about it and hear from others. Okay. That, that’s what I love. And obviously, you can harvest some simultaneously for many players in the room and even observers. Okay. If we can, if we integrate them of course, into the debriefing. And that’s something that I just love about it. And for that, we even have a self debriefing card with instructions. So you don’t even have to read it as a motivator.

Julian (26m 10s):
You just give them a card. And it says, okay, read this card, make sure that everyone speaks and start the conversation using, the ice, or then the critical main question, et cetera, et cetera.

Rob (26m 22s):
You guys basically made a game for debriefing games or learning games at least. Right?

Chris (26m 31s):
Yeah, absolutely

Rob (26m 32s):
Fantastic. And I, I do have a question, like, it sounds like it’s very self-organized and I’m sure it is, but my question is, how do you know it’s, it’s over? I mean, w when does, does the, what’s the end game here?

Chris (26m 45s):
You have to time-box it. So, so this is an interesting thing. We discovered first tried this as an experiment. Right. We figured we played, we played a really simple game, right. So I think it was Go or Aboriginal to subsequently done it with like simple games, like counts 33, and I’m boiling. I think we did that. So really like these like warm-ups, they’re not really, like, they’re not like your really big concept games where there are lots to learn. There is a kind of small warmup activities. There’s still learnings in them, but they’re much more subtle. So we expected to read just one. It was really created to create an experience so that we could test it all out.

Chris (27m 25s):
Right. So we create the simplest and basic, most basic experience we could think of, and then set people up into small groups of three or four, gave them all a deck of cards each, and then say, go, go debrief. And we were first, we were actively facilitating. So we’re just watching and listening and sentencing and quite ready to pull people back together again, when it feels like they running out of steam, except they didn’t run out of steam. Yeah. They, they, they carried on and it’s like, geez, this is like, we’re 20 minutes into debriefing. A five-minute game. That’s weird. So, so you, you have to time-box it because it, it, so the conversation starter is a conversation. Enablers invite people to talk about things and they can really get in that zone.

Chris (28m 7s):
Yeah. So I think you have to give a little bit of a limit to that. And some of the things that Julie mentioned earlier in that it using liberating structures of it to do maybe govern some of that interaction is a useful thing. If you did child, you keep it time-boxed.

Julian (28m 24s):
I would add, you know, as we all know, if you attend a conference and then, of course, you want to explore new tools, you want to be inspired. You want to discuss, you want to have those endless, endless discussions that go on all night long until, you know, we, we all start to play werewolves, but, we shouldn’t forget that if you have a team, if you are hired to facilitate a workshop or training, you do have a context, right. And you do have a topic. So I would say it ends when you were moving towards that zone that you want, or you want to help, you want to facilitate your learners to explore and to touch and to discuss and to see and to reflect on, okay.

Julian (29m 21s):
So that’s why it’s not that, you know, we hand out the cards and then we just, you know, ring a bell after half an hour. And hopefully, they’ll have some conversation about you as a facilitator, still need to, you know, that, that that’s our job, right? You need to be there, you need to sense. As Chris said, you need to observe unity here. You need to listen. What are they talking about? Is this a fruitful conversation? Does this conversation add value to where you are going? And your design is going and yeah, definitely time box and, and listen, and be open, be, be ready to be surprised as we say, right.

Julian (30m 3s):
Because, you know, it’s so amazing. Chris mentioned, you know, that the Boeing game or the go game, or, you know, again, probably with, with every game that we facilitators facilitate you sometimes, you know, you, you know, what’s going to happen. Do you know what they’re gonna say? Do you know exactly the minute they will have a problem, and then you give them the hint, right? But let’s go back for a second. You design and facilitate X games or learning games, serious games so that your learners can make an experience. So why don’t we step back for a moment and just are willing and are ready to be surprised.

Julian (30m 44s):
So listen to your learners to see what they are focusing on. And that might be something completely different than you have on your agenda, but maybe that adds more value to their day-to-day. Then, you know what you’d have just, you know, planned out for them to discover. So, so that’s also, I think a big reminder, we, we should always say.

Rob (31m 8s):
It makes a lot of sense. Actually. I think those are great reminders as well.

Chris (31m 13s):
Just on that point, I’ve just sorry. So I just, I think that’s such an important characteristic of the, of the thing that’s for me, one of them, another magical moment that happened is, is I was just thinking very personally in the past, when I facilitated the game, I’ve fallen into the trap of, of, of aborting the debrief and then telling people, this is what you should have learned, right? This is, this is why we played the game, right? This is the thing I hoped you would learn from the game, right? Because it’s super easy to do that as a facilitator, as a coach, right. Cause I know why I played the game in the first place, and this is what I wanted you to see.

Chris (31m 53s):
And I see lots of coaches doing that. I see lots of coaches go into that place of, of really, of, of, of downloading, we’re trying to download the epiphany rather than to, to, to culture them, the, using the cube in the way we’ve explained, right. When you’ve, you’ve now distributed, the learning you’ve distributed the conversation, you can’t do that anymore. Right. You have to step back and allow, your participants to take from the experience, whatever they will make from that experience. And sometimes that’s not going to be what you expected it to be, and that’s okay. Yeah. And I think there’s a marvelous characteristic that helps us be better facilitators.

Julian (32m 36s):
And let me add, a Rob, two to one way how you could use this card deck. Okay. It’s, it’s, it’s also a card deck and we do encourage you to either cut it. And, and then do you have the cards at hand? So while you were observing your group engaging in a learning game or serious game or agile game, you can flick through the cards, literally questions, and then select them in real-time. Right? So, that is also powerful. You might’ve prepared some questions, but then you, you, you know, you just, you sense in and engage with the field or the energy or the topics and the flow of the engagement of your, of your learners.

Julian (33m 25s):
And another way would be, and that’s something that I’m doing more and more, you could even share one or two debriefing questions before the game, priming your learners to obviously a specific yeah. The observation that they might be able to make. Again, you really want to use this carefully as, as Chris just mentioned, you know, sometimes we just have in mind what should happen and what should be discovered, and then what should be said afterward. But that’s also a nice way to just say, okay, at the end of the game, I will ask you, you know, what type of miscommunication was there?

Julian (34m 9s):
You just naming random questions.

Rob (34m 14s):
That makes sense. I think, the sort of the end game there is, is a, is a key point because otherwise you, you can get sort of lost as, as you guys were saying, you can get lost in the process, so to speak, but I think it makes a lot of sense, like dealing with it that way. I think it’s a, it’s a fantastic solution. Is there, I don’t know, is there, I mean, we’re, we’re basically on getting, getting to the end of our time together today, but is there a quick example a time? I don’t know, again, without revealing anything you can’t reveal, but a time you’ve seen it used you used it yourself, that that particularly reminds you of something very powerful. We’d like, to get into examples.

Rob (34m 54s):
Of course, that always helps.

Chris (34m 57s):
Yeah. I’ve used it a lot in various workshops and off-sites and things, I guess for me, the, the powerfulness comes in because I’m, we create this thing. Right. And if you’ve ever created anything, you’ll know that you’re never a hundred percent happy with it. Yeah. You never, you never completely sold it. This is always going to work. Right. Because we make this and it is a stomach. We come out of our heads. I, for me, the magic is like, you know, who’s in that listening and the sensing and you hear people talking and, and reflecting and you can see them. Oh yeah. The conversations going, and they’re talking about some cool stuff. And what those guys talking about over there is completely different to what those guys are talking about over there. But it’s all on point.

Chris (35m 37s):
It’s all about the experience. And then you can start to get this sense of relief that OK. Yeah, this is, this is they’re, they’re getting some cool outcomes here. They’re getting some cool thoughts and concepts coming across. And, you know, and almost that you’re going to get like an early feeling that my job as a facilitator is done. Yeah. Because they have just nailed it. Right. Like they, they’ve, they’ve used from the experience, everything I’d hoped that they would do

Julian (36m 7s):
For me. It’s, it’s, I would say the inclusiveness that, you know, with, with, with not only the set or the variety of the questions, but also how it is designed with the cards and the dyes, and, you know, it just invites to, to, to add, to adding value, to add to the reflection, to add to the group, and then, you know, eventually to add to this shared experience and, and to not only see and observe why someone did something or why someone acted that way, or didn’t act that way, but also to make this implicit knowledge explicit so that the teams or the groups can then really connect to let’s call it motives, or the reason why, or the selected, you know, observation, observation skills, or that, that they really connected to each other literally.

Julian (37m 10s):
Right. And, and that’s, that’s powerful. And yeah, if a question helps them, then that, that will be the tool of my choice.

Rob (37m 21s):
Absolutely. Sounds very, very sensible. It makes a lot of sense. So Julian, Chris, thank you very much both for, of course, creating this debriefing cube, putting it out there, but also for being with us today, I know you, I know Julian is a very recent or relatively recent father. So you know, all those fathering businesses, you know of are there and that, you know, you still have to do them and taking away some of that time from, from all those things that you have to do, your, your child is probably sleeping at this point. Risking the child to wake up is, is, is an accomplishment as well. It seems like we succeeded in not waking Julian’s kid up at this point.

Rob (38m 4s):

Julian (38m 5s):

Rob (38m 5s):
To both of you for anyways. I mean, it’s not just Julian and Chris of course, who made it, made an effort to be with us today and sharing all of this information with us with the engagers. Is there any final piece of advice anywhere you want to lead us to of course, where we can find more information about the debriefing cube before we say it’s game over.

Julian (38m 24s):
Absolutely. So look, the de-briefing cube, and this is also a big community effort. So we started in the English language obviously, and then we had, as you all know, I’m based in Berlin, I do speak German, but we had learners and players engaging in translating the tool into German and to French and to Dutch into Russian and Italian and Spanish are on the way. So, you know, this is also a big thank you for, for everyone. Who’s, who’s helped us to translate those questions into a different language,

Rob (38m 58s):
a big shout out for sure!

Julian (39m 0s):
And secondly, I guess there is also a product now, if you don’t want to copy it and you just want to buy it, which is totally fine, it’s a reasonable price. You can also buy the card decks. They are sustainably produced printed very, very locally, just around the corner of my house. And they are packed and send and shipped out and an integration workshop here, South of Berlin. So that’s just another reason to, to order them. And besides that,, and M, you can download and grab the PDF directly from there. You don’t need to enter a password, no email address, just go to the website and enjoy reading.

Rob (39m 49s):
Sounds absolutely Fantastic guys. Thanks again, for all your efforts, all the things that you’re doing that you’ve been doing, you’re going to be doing in the future with a debriefing cube. Chris, I don’t know if there’s anything else.

Chris (40m 0s):
I just thought that in terms of, we’d love to hear from you, right? So if you are using the tool if it is working for you, have an experience, please reach out and tell us about them. It really helps us feel good about, you know, reaching across the road is getting better. And it also, then this isn’t the end for our journey, right? We have more ideas coming in the future about how we can accelerate this.

Rob (40m 24s):
Absolutely, absolutely. Thanks very much for your time for your efforts for being here with us today, however, at least for now and for today, it is time to say that it’s game over. Hey, engagers. Thank you for listening to the Professor Game podcast. I hope you enjoyed this interview about the debriefing cube with Chris and Julian. And you know, they’ll probably be back on the podcast in the future. Is there any questions you’d like to ask them or any other guests go to and ask your question. There’s a very good chance. It will be selected. And if it does, it’ll come up in a future episode and you will get your answer alive during an episode of Professor Game, before you go onto your next mission, please remember to subscribe using your favorite podcast app and listen to the next episode of professor game.

Rob (41m 15s):
See you there.

End of transcription

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