This is the ninth step of a series of 12 steps that explains in detail how the Collaborative Law Process works. Click here for the previous step.
It is a good idea for the collaborative professionals to debrief each meeting immediately following the meeting. Coordinating schedules can be difficult, so the easiest way to debrief is to plan for a short, fifteen to twenty minute meeting for the collaborative professionals following each team meeting. If an in-person debrief after the meeting does not work, the professionals could schedule a brief teleconference instead.
The purpose of the collaborative professionals debrief is to discuss how well the team did during the meeting as well as areas where the team could improve. It is important that the collaborative professionals debrief without the participants so they can focus on the progress of the meeting rather than the merits. The collaborative professionals can use their training and experience to constructively discuss how the meeting went.
During the debrief, the collaborative professionals should discuss the dynamics of the participants. If either participant was acting positional or if a team member noticed any trigger points of one of the participants, the debrief is the time to discuss such things. Furthermore, the professionals should discuss whether the team stayed true to the Collaborative Process. Debriefing allows the collaborative professionals to seek advice from each other about issues they noticed during the meeting. This is particularly important during the beginning of the Collaborative Process while the participants are still getting used to the process and the professionals are getting to know the participants.
The collaborative professionals might also discuss their next pre-meeting during the debrief. The professionals could discuss a possible agenda for the next meeting and any potential contact with one of the participants prior to the next meeting.
Debriefing is essential throughout the Collaborative Process, but it can also be helpful to debrief once a final agreement is signed by the participants. The final debrief can help the collaborative professionals with future cases if they discuss what worked well and what did not.