10 Post-Facilitation Reflection Questions
July 25, 2023
I am still processing all that I learned at our team retreat in Boulder (I’ve been writing about this retreat all month, so if you missed those blog posts, you can find the first and second ones here).
One thing I feel really good about is that we accomplished our primary objective—for people to build relationships and connections. I recall dozens of moments during the retreat when that happened, and I can trace that back to intentional and specific design. I designed for connection—I was clear on that being the purpose of the retreat. I attended to a hundred little details that served this purpose—from considering who was paired with whom for activities to the activities that we engaged in. I consistently attended to emotions—I scanned faces and bodies and tones of voice for how people were feeling; when I noticed trepidation or confusion, I named it and paused the conversation and clarified; I cultivated playfulness and joy, because those are powerful avenues for connection. I was very aware of power dynamics and strove to mitigate those as much as possible. And so much more. I could probably write an entire book about leadership and PD just through unpacking one retreat.
Part of my post-retreat process is to reflect on what happened and on myself. I always schedule time on my calendar to process during the week after an intensive retreat like this one.
Here are some of the questions I reflect on after a retreat:
- How do I know whether we met our overarching objectives? What data do I use to determine whether we met our objectives?
- What did I not anticipate? Is there any way I could have anticipated what happened?
- If I could go back in time and lead the retreat over, what would I do differently?
- How can we build on what happened at this retreat in our work going forward?
- When did I feel most present and joyful? What allowed that to be my experience?
- What are my next steps (and our Leadership Team’s next steps) and when will we check in on those? Which systems are in place in order to be sure these next steps are executed?
- What did I learn about myself as a leader?
- What can I appreciate about myself and the way I showed up at the retreat?
- What do I need to forgive myself for? What do I need to accept about myself?
- How can I care for myself now and replenish my energy? What do I need?
If you plan team retreats, PD sessions, or meetings, and you want to hone your design and facilitation skills, check out our Artful Design and Facilitation workshop. You’ll get way more than additional resources and practice—you’ll also have the opportunity to experience transformative learning and a phenomenal facilitator. You can’t do what you’ve never experienced. If you’ve never been in a transformational PD session, you can’t create one for others.
Give yourself the gift of this experience.
Although facilitating retreats wipes me out, they also energize me on deep levels. Many (if not all) of my core human needs feel met from the experience in Boulder: belonging, autonomy, mastery, genuine self-esteem, trust, and meaning. I’m looking forward to facilitating more in-person retreats in the next year or two with our broader community. Maybe I’ll see you there! Stay tuned for information about those.
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