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Debriefing: How do you manage Face, Rights, and Goals?


Published: 5/7/2018

Face sensitivities, sociality rights and obligations, and interactional goals are the three fundamental bases to rapport management.




Imagine you are a participant in a simulation learning exercise and after the simulation, you participate in a debriefing guided by a facilitator. If the facilitator criticizes your performance in a disrespectful way, imposes his views on what should be done and conducts the debriefing in a way that does not match what you would like to achieve during the debriefing, do you think your learning will be affected?

Most people will say yes because the rapport or relationship between the facilitator and learners does affect learning. Facilitators play a significant role in creating a collegial, non-threatening, psychologically safe learning environment and the positive rapport between facilitators and learners contributes to such an environment.

Together with HOMER colleagues Charmaine Krishnasamy and Lim Wee Shiong, Loo May Eng argued for the importance of rapport management in a recently published paper: 

With a background in sociolinguistics, May Eng believes that theories from other disciplines, especially the social sciences, may be very useful in informing healthcare professions education. After observing a debriefing session following a simulated resuscitation drill, she was bothered by how quiet and unresponsive some of the learners were during that particular session and wondered if it may have to do with, among a variety of other factors, culture and the rapport between the facilitator and learners. She was prompted to understand how facilitators can be more effective in conducting debriefings in the aspect of managing relationships. Using concepts and a model from the field of sociolinguistics, the paper explored the bases of rapport and recommended ways to manage it during simulation debriefing. 

The paper was commended and discussed by an editorial in the same Simulation in Healthcare journal issue: 

The paper was also discussed by Jenny Rudolph, Executive Director of the Center for Medical Simulation, in an interesting podcast - http://simulationpodcast.com/2018/04/30/ep-12-rapport-jenny-rudolph/



Photo credit: Ben Lee, LDT, NHG Group Education

TAGS: Communication; Evidence Synthesis; HPE

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