Blog – Facilitating a Group Debrief of the LSI

We often get asked, can you facilitate a group debrief? The short answer is yes! Once upon a time the LSI was only ever done via the group, but with the growth of executive coaching it moved into individual debrief. A group debrief can be very powerful, but it comes down to asking yourself “what is your objective”?  Here we outline a list of recommended considerations before a group debrief:

1. Decide on the size of group. Between 8 – 12 is optimal. More than 12 means you’ll need an additional de-briefer as support. Remember if you’re debriefing both the  LSI 1 and 2, some people may receive very powerful feedback which can be confronting when set in a public group scenario – you don’t want to overlook anyone during their debrief if this is the case, so smaller manageable groups are recommended.

2. Before you go into a group debrief, we recommend doing a pre-brief. A pre-brief session and the communication of it can be anything from a team agenda item (the what, why and how) and provides an insight for how people will understand what the debrief looks like. This will help people choose responders, and understand the aim of the workshop. People will need a good understanding of the Circumplex and to be shown examples of profiles. If you’ve never met people in the group before, this will help give you a sense of who they are, what their appetite is for this kind of work and their level of understanding. Providing a pre-brief helps to build a safe environment for a group and avoids a lot of difficulties later down the track.

3. The length of the debrief is important. Keeping groups small, and optimally over 1 to 2 days for a group debrief is recommended. As there is less room for people to face any confronting feedback by themselves, building safety before going into debrief assists people to feel comfortable. Use the time before debriefing the results to help people understand the Circumplex, and LSI. Also get people to set their own benchmark in words and measure it with a paper version of the LSI, that way they are more committed to it. People need to own their feedback. If the LSI 1 is on the first day, take time for them to understand the circumplex, look at high performance thinking, then do the debrief. Day 2 can be utilised for LSI 2  – maybe start with a GSI and simulation. Allow them to understand their behaviour styles and feedback, then commence with action planning.

The LSI+ with its narrative interpretations of results and suggestions for development are particularly helpful in group debriefs. Because you won’t be able to have so much 1:1 time with people, the LSI+ gives people a good start on understanding and relating their results.

So what are the advantages of a group debrief? If you’re looking to build culture, break down silos, or if you’re looking to build horizontal leadership alignment then a group debrief can be very powerful. Introduce questions within the group of ‘what culture do we want’ and what ‘leadership looks like to support it’? By asking them what ‘good’ looks like, suddenly there is a standard in the business that everyone is trying to achieve. It opens up people’s world, particularly for people who normally work in isolation. When the group opens up with peer involvement, the group tends to offer up self-generating ideas, peer consulting and learning and networking then organically takes hold. In a group, there is more likely buddying or learning partners to evolve and will continue to build networks. Speaking the same language (particularly around the Circumplex), creates a wave within a group – it catches on faster because you’re scaling it.

What are the disadvantages? The obvious one is that you do lose that opportunity of individual one-on-one discussions. Remember that because strong feedback may be given publicly, people may look ok on the outside but in fact may be in need of support. Be ready for different scenarios and have a plan to mitigate them. Of course a ‘group’ debrief will never offer the same as a personalised four hour coaching one-on-one. And, because you don’t have that personalised deep dive it may feel difficult to uncover the stones. But if you’ve warmed the group up, there is a cohesion and support from the group if people are not coping.

The beauty of the LSI is that it offers individuals and teams and understanding of why measuring learnt thinking and behaviour is important. While our default behavioural styles have worked for us on some level, you have to ask does it come with a cost or a tradeoff? The LSI is not about good, bad, right or wrong. But it allows all of us to consider whether this thinking and behaviour is working for us, or if there is a better way we could be showing up? Every behavioural style on some level is functional, human, standard but is it optimal? Understanding what takes you below and above the line of security needs connects you with your data. Leveraging group energy is helpful, because the debrief then becomes a shared journey – it’s also good for people within groups very familiar with the Circumplex and LSI.

Listen to podcast episode here


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