AAR: Questions that Invite Participation

AARS verses Critiques

The steps for leading After Action Reviews (AAR) are not difficult; however, many AARs fail to promote a learning environment that encourages all members to become actively involved. A large part of this failure is caused by phrasing questions in the wrong manner. That is, when asking questions, they should never be confrontational, but rather invite all the members to participate. While there are times and places for confrontational questions (for example, see Confrontation Counseling), the AAR is not one of them. This is because an AAR is a method for improving performance, not an environment for placing blame. This can be accomplished by focusing on Lessons Learned.

This learning activity will help you to become a better leader when conducting AARs.

AAR Learning Activity

Objective: Rephrase confrontational questions so that they invite all the AAR members to participate.


Badly Phrased AAR Questions














Next Steps

Return to the chapter on After Action Reviews

Return to the Leadership Training and Development Outline