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Table 2 Examples of circular questions [13, 40, 42, 43, 45, 53, 54] adapted to debriefings

From: How to debrief teamwork interactions: using circular questions to explore and change team interaction patterns

Question typea Difference Context Observer perspective Hypothetical future
Objective Understanding   Influencing
Purpose Explore how behavior varies according to contexts “Fluidize” personality characteristics Explore causal attributions and diverse views Explore sequences Explore meaning of behavior within a context Become a better observer of oneself Encourage “other” awareness Explore interpersonal perception Explore interpersonal interaction Highlight potential consequences Explore catastrophic expectations Explore future action Explore dilemmas
Examples “When do your colleagues speak up most? … What is different in these situations?” “What does she do when she does not seem to be interested in your opinion? … How do you explain that?” “If he insists on doing the checklist, do you imagine he does this as a matter of principle or because he is convinced of its use in this situation?” “In the OR, is there more speaking up before or after the attending joins the team?” “How do you explain that she was shouting multiple instructions at the same time?” “When you responded the way you did, how did you feel about your reaction?”
“If an intern had observed your interaction, what do think he might have learned from you?”
“What do you imagine he experiences when he gets into a situation like that?” “What does he think that you think is going on when he starts yelling?” To A: “What do you do when she starts doing the checklist without everybody being present? … And when you do this, what does she do?”
To B: “What do you do when he makes that comment? … And when you do this, what does he do?”
“If you continued not to talk about it, what do you expect would happen to the team?” “What are you worried might happen if you said that you have never placed a central line before?” “If she were saying ‘OK, I’ll take the lead’ when she is joining a resuscitation, what do you imagine the other team members would do?” “If she were joining this critical situation as attending—do you imagine her first goal is to get an overview or distribute tasks among team members?”
  1. aThere is overlap among the types of question