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Post Tour Debrief: Recognition, Reflection, and Revelry



I read somewhere a long time ago, that learning doesn’t come from experience, learning comes from reflecting on the experience.  It takes active thought to process information and consider outcomes for learning to happen.  This is especially true when reflecting on entire events or larger experiences since there are so many moving parts and decisions made to consider. 

Learning doesn’t come from experience, learning comes from reflecting on the experience.

Since my very first outdoor art show, under the big emerging artist tent in Manayunk, I adopted a debriefing process.  In the beginning is was simply a quick conversation over slices of pizza after the show with my husband about what we thought we did well or could improve on.  I used a notebook and scratched the important items down and used it as a checklist before the next show.  We made notes about the type of tent we have, how other artists set up their spaces, the way to hang weights from a tent, the finish of the business cards, the place I position my chair, where I hang price tags and the best way to pack the van. I’ve refined the debriefing process since then to include additional info and tougher questions, but ultimately, it works the same way.

I ask myself the following:

  • How do I feel?   (Addressing emotions first is strategic.  You will gain clarity during the reminder of the process by replacing emotional reactions with critical thinking.)

  • What were my original goals that I outlined earlier?

  • Did I meet the goals?  

  • If yes, what worked best?  If no, what stopped me?