5 Dynamics Of A Debrief – Lesson 3 – Lay It All On The Table

The Glad To Be Here debrief is essential if you want to become a high-performing team. It can help you to perform better, achieve more and create a closer, more effective team. 

There are 5 dynamics for a successful Glad To Be Here Debrief:

  1. Create A Safe Environment – A safe environment will result in mutual respect.
  2. Check Your Ego – Focusing on humility and the importance of this for growth.
  3. Lay It On The Table – This is the ability to discuss everything openly and honestly.
  4. Own It & Fix It – Accountability minus any blame.
  5. Glad To Be Here – Looking back and being able to focus entirely on the gratitude of being here!

These 5 dynamics are essential tools for continuous improvement, and you can use this knowledge to execute effective debriefing meetings and get the very best out of your team.

If you want to learn more about what a debrief is and why it’s such a powerful tool to use in your business, read the blog here

In our previous blogs, we talked about creating a safe environment and checking your ego, the and second first dynamics in a successful debrief. This blog is going to focus on the third dynamic, laying it all out on the table.

Honest Communication

The first two dynamics of the Glad To Be Here Debrief help lead your team toward openness and honesty. And it’s from this place that you can lay it all out on the table and communicate freely and constructively.

Small things matter here.

It’s about being able to talk about what’s bothering you, what’s making you feel good, where you need support, and where you can be yourself.

When you lay it all out on the table you can talk about absolutely everything, there should be no topic off limits. But quite often, problems within your team aren’t just from actions or inaction. Very often it’s about personality and chemistry.

Do you have the right chemistry on this team? Is someone poisoning the culture of your organization? These are hard questions, and the answers can be difficult to deal with.

Move Forward Together

The ability to lay it all on the table allows your team to speak honestly and openly about the things that bother them. 

If an individual or group of individuals are preventing you from moving forward, then you’ve got to be able to talk about it. And although this can be hard to do, a safe environment will make difficult communications easier.

A regular debrief is key to this, and you should do it consistently even when things are going well. When clear communication becomes the norm it’s easy to say when things are bothering you. And your team can also speak freely and constructively.

Avoid Half-Truths

What you don’t want to do when you lay it on the table is to sugarcoat it.

Avoid half-truths and attempts to protect your piece of the world. It’s about the whole organization, it’s about breaking down silos, and the only way to do this is with the truth.

The whole team can come together and say this is what we want and this is what we need to do to achieve it. 

Performance Exercises

Here are some questions that you can apply to yourself and your team:


When The Blue Angels laid it out on the table, it usually involved personal issues over practical ones.

It wasn’t about how they needed to fly or the maneuvers. The challenges were always with the personalities, the egos, and the emotions.

But if you’ve created an environment that will allow you to address any issues then it won’t make it personal.

You can address the feelings and acknowledge the fact that you’re all human, everyone can make a mistake and everyone can learn and grow. 

How do you do this?

Address the feelings and lay them out on the table. Don’t have your back up and don’t try to win for yourself or your argument.

Instead, try and come at it from the angle that you want to make your organization and team better for everyone.

Laying it all on the table can help you to work better together and solve the problems that can arise when you’re working together. But it’s only one part of an effective debrief. Want to learn more? Read our next blog to learn more about the next dynamic “Own It & Fix It”