Scenario: Arrogant Employee

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The teams has been working on fleshing out a breakthrough solution to a problem that has been haunting the organization for years. A long term employee stops by just long enough to tell them it won’t work.

 

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (10)

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    Eric Zabiegalski

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    This is a good one! Would you ask the group what they thought of the comments or if they would like to invite the individual to join the group and reset the rules and original question?

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    Robert Jordan

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    The coach (and other team members) should welcome a multiple (and potentially contrary) perspective to the team. Remember the Pizza Man story! Even if the the long time employee might come across as arrogant, it is possible that the employee understands certain things about the organization that team has been missing. Assuming the team is interested and willing to have the employee join the group for the set (the coach can ask the team), they can then questions about the employee’s perspective that may shed more light on the issues with potential solutions.

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      mpersily

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      I really like Robert’s response to this challenge. As part of the AL process, we want to encourage the incorporation of diverse perspectives even when they derail the team. I would add that perhaps this “distraction” opens up the conversation around what type of resistance might the team face to its recommendations/solution? How will they respond?

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    Romy Frida Mariani

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    The coach can take this as an learning opportunity and do intervene by asking the group team whether they have some thoughts about the employee’s comment, or by asking the group what will they do when they got that kind of comment. it is possible that the group will invite the employee to join the team or if the employee is not available they can just response by asking what made the employee have that kind of thought, then from the answers they will continue the Action Learning process.

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    Ma. Angela Beltran

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    The teams has been working on fleshing out a breakthrough solution to a problem that has been haunting the organization for years. A long term employee stops by just long enough to tell them it won’t work.

    As an Action Learning Coach and with the team’s permission, I would politely invite the employee to join the session so the team can ask him questions, as this could be a great learning opportunity (but why would an employee be in the same room as them while a session was ongoing? – just wondering here). If he/she declines, I will treat the moment as an intervention and ask the team what they think just happened and how they would like to proceed.

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    Tasha

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    Scenario: Arrogant Employee:
    The team has been working on fleshing out a breakthrough solution to a problem that has been haunting the organization for years. A long term employee stops by just long enough to tell them it won’t work.

    As the AL Coach I would as the group, “what are the thoughts on the employee’s statement”, and also “what would be the impact on the group if the employee was invited to join the session?”

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    Anna Maria LIM

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    As the AL Coach, I will do as follow:
    1. I will ask the other member whether to invite the long term employee to join the AL Session. I think he / she can contribute a lot as he / she has been with the organisation for a long time. Any perspective of thought will be contributing to the innovation that we are looking for. If the long term employee reluctant to join, then I will ask the team member to discuss what is their opinion on the statement brought up.
    2. I will use this opportunity as learning intervention by asking the team member that how we can learning from his / her statement? How we can make this better?
    3. I will continue the AL session, but still keeping the perspective of the contradictory brought up by the long term employee as a learning perspective.

    Regards,
    anna

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    Sylvia Coachman

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    I would be quick on asking that employee not to leave the room before i finished this intervention I was precisely beginning. Then I would make the 3 basic questions (How are we working as a team 1-10; what we’re doing good; what we could do better) and then ask to each one: “What do you think would be the best way to use this comment / situation in order to flesh out a breakthrough solution?” and then to the group: “How do you want to handle it?” And leave to the group to decide if it would be interesting to invite the person to join the group and how to do it.

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    DrBea

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    This is tricky one – as coach we want to fix this for the team, rather we should bring it to awareness and let the team decide how to handle this.

    I’d ask the employee if they could hold their contribution for a moment as I was just going to check in with the team. Based on the response I might skip the 3 standard questions and jump right to the situation. My preference is to always start with the 3 standard questions – How are we doing on a scale of 1 – 10? What are we doing well? What can we do better?

    My next 3 questions would be –
    I’ve observed someone has just joined us and has concerns about the implement ability of this solution. Did anyone else notice that? (Obvious answer yes)
    What’s the impact of this on the team? (let them talk through it)
    How do you want to handle it? (Again let the team decide)

    They may go the pizza man route and invite the person in. They may take it as an opportunity to explore some resistance to this solution. They may know the employee is a naysayer and doesn’t reflect how most people will react. Or they may come up with another option.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Craig Senecal

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    I’d start by asking: “How would the group like to handle what just happened?”

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