Scenario: Coaches Advice

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A team member asks if you have any suggestions on how to solve the problem.

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (13)

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    Gretchen Smith

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    I would ask the team what the impact would be, if I made a suggestion? I’d get consensus that the group is ok with that, and then probably make suggestion in the form a question – What would happen, if you tried …., or something along those lines.

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    Madelaine Melberg

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    I would remind the group of the 2nd ground rule of Action Learning – my role as an action learning coach is not to be a part of the problem solving process, but to keep track of time and intervene when I see opportunities for learning. Depending on the situation, I may also take the opportunity to intervene and ask the group to reflect on the team dynamics or ask other intervention questions as appropriate.

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    PeterKao

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    I will express my trust on team’s ability to solve their problem and re-state that my AL Coach role restricts me from offering suggestions. I will say “I am keeping myself as your Coach so that I cannot be your adviser. If you really need some suggestions from outside the team, what can you do ?”

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    Tomasz Janiak

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    I would refer to the group contract and make an observation. “We have agreed that my role is solely in managing learning and team improvement process. How can we account for the fact that the team needs advice?”

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    John.Tattersall

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    As others have said, I do think that it is important to maintain the role of coach and not get drawn into becoming part of the solution generation. I think that Peter’s point about putting it back to the group in terms of what they can do about generating additional resources to help them find suggestions to solve the problem is a good one. It may well result in identification that there may well be specialist knowledge required that sits outside the experience within the group. If they identify this themselves, then it should be possible for them to agree how to deal with that.

    Best regards

    John

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    Lisa James

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    My aim as coach would be to have them recall that my role precludes me from getting involved with the problem, and to help them improve the quality of their own problem solving.

    I would start by asking of the group:
    1. What do you recall as the 2nd Ground rule of Action Learning….about my role as a coach?…once they have stated the ground rule, I will follow this up with:
    2. What is the impact of my getting involved with the problem?…from this I expect they will share things like: prevents the team from taking ownership of the problem, or affects the coach’s independence or prevents the coach from focusing on the process and learnings. I will then ask:
    3. What additional information do WE need to have to make us more equipped to shift from the problem, to solutions? ….If they are satisfied that they have all the information they need, I will switch to our problem solving ability and ask:
    4. How can we be more creative/innovative/ imaginative or ‘think outside the box’ with our actions/strategies for solving the problem?

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    Claire Davidson-Williams

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    If a member of the group if I have any suggestions in solving the problem, I would ask: Could someone recall the 2nd Ground Rule regrading my role as coach? However, if such a question is asked of the coach it may suggest that the group feel stuck in their effort. If that is what I observe, I would take the opportunity to pose a question that can help to move things forward. For example, How would it benefit the group if this said question is put to members of the group? or Would it be helpful if questions directed to other members of the group?

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    Cristina Alafriz

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    The team member asked a straightforward close ended question. I will reply by simply saying “No, I do not have any suggestions”.

    If the same situation recurs, then I will remind them about my role as an AL coach – to ensure that learning is happening, and to do this I will need to be neutral to the problem. Therefore, I will not be able to answer any questions related to the problem.

    And just for good measure, to pass back the responsibility to the team, I will ask the them “If you need additional suggestions regarding your problem, how can you go about getting more ideas?”

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    Isha Frank

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    I would reiterate to the team the second ground rule as it speak to the Action Learning Coach where he/she have the authority to intervene whenever there is the opportunity for leaning and i will not be directly involved in solving the problem. I will then ask the group what is the quality of our questions in solving the problem from a scale of 1-10 how are we in understanding the problem and from that response, I will then ask to the group, Who has the next question.

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    DrBea

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    As many have said I would remind the group of my role and ask what other resources are available to get the answer.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Cheryl Chua

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    First and foremost, I will remind the group for the effectiveness of the outcome of the AL, the role as an action learning coach should not to be a part of the problem solving process, but to intervene only when I see opportunities for learning. The team should own the problem.
    I will ask the team on what is the impact if AL coach step in to give suggestions to the problem.
    Following that, I would ask the team the following questions:
    Team, what are some of the innovative ways we could have to generate more suggestions & ideas within the team to the problem solving (this is to drive them to think of more ways to come up with solutions within the team). Once they have suggested, I would give back the ownership to them by asking “ who have the next question?”

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    John Nguyen

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    As AL coach, when facing that situation, I will ask to the team:

    Hi team, there’s one team member suggest me to give advice, do you think I should give? Yes or No -> then I check with each member, they should give me answer Yes or No individually.

    1. If some Yes, some No the I ask: Hi team, some agree and some not, what we should do now as the team?

    2. If all No, then I ask the team: What we should do next to move forward? Who have the next question?

    3. If all Yes, then I ask the team: Team, it seems all of you agree the coach can give advice. What would impact to the team if the coach always give advices?
    What we can do differently to move forward?

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    lynwong

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    My response will be “Thank you for the question. My role as a coach is to answer question on the process but I don’t answer question on the content. Who has the next question?”

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