AARS verses Critiques

AAR: Questions that Invite Participation

The steps for leading After Action Reviews (AAR) are not difficult; however, where a lot of AARs go wrong is the failure to promote a learning environment that encourages all members to actively become 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 places for confrontational questions (for example, see Confrontation Counseling), the AAR is not one of them. This is because the AAR is a method for improving performance, not an environment for placing blame. This accomplished by focusing on Lessons Learned.

Activity for Learners

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

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