Scenario: Consensus

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

The team is having trouble coming to consensus.

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (9)

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    D'Arcy Dornan

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    In my experiences until now as Action Learning coach, adhering to the coach script, even if that means engaging with the group in more than 1 AL session has eventually lead to consensus.

    SUBSEQUENT Action Learning sessions for the same problem.
    To those with Actions

    What actions did you take since the last session? What did you learn from these actions (or non-actions)?

    To the Problem Owner (individual or group)

    Where are you now? What would you like to accomplish in this session? Okay, who has the first question?

    Then continuing with the subsequent questions/interventions…

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    Robert Jordan

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    Continue to work through the process and following through with action will help the group come to some consensus. It may certainly be possible that in the end not all group members will fully agree with everything.

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    lee anne

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    I would take this opportunity to drive a few learning outcomes by intervening after an appropriate amount of time to allow the team to experience the impact of not having a consensus.

    I would go back to the process and ask the following questions.

    – Rate how are we doing as a group so far on a scale of 1-10
    – What are we doing well?
    – What could we do better?
    – Do we have agreement to the problem? Yes, no or are we close?
    – Let’s write it down – ask each member to read what they have written (PP not first and not last to read) and ask again if there is an agreement, yes, no or are we close.

    I will then ask the following questions following the above to drive the learning so the team has a chance to reflect and demonstrate/practice any learnings they may have taken from the intervention to reach consensus.

    – What can we do to help the team come to a consensus?
    – What is the impact to the team not being able to come to a consensus?

    Finally at the end of the session, I will drive the learning one more time by asking

    – What have we learnt about the importance of having a team consensus?

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    najiresearch

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    I think the intervention will be determined by the complexity of the problem and the timeline for resolution. If the problem is quite complex, perhaps all that is required is time. In any event,I would consider the following questions as part of the intervention:

    Definitely enquire how the team feels about their progress. They may be quite happy that they are making progress. ” On a scale of 1-10, How is our progress given the timeline?” Then follow up with (some options):

    -“What needs to happen to create a major shift for the team?” Depending on our observations, we can specify
    e.g What about our questions/approach/information/ needs to change, to create a major shift in understanding for the team?”

    -“What would be most useful to the team at this point?” It may be useful to offer some options e.g. A break and reconvene, some individual time to reflect, something else?

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    christan

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    I find that many a times, when people cannot come to a consensus, it is usually because of semantics.

    So I may intervene and ask the team what is causing them not to come to a consensus? What can be done so that the team can come to a consensus? And if time is of essence, I will ask the problem presenter what he would like us to do, to help the team come to a consensus?

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    deviantthinking

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    I would share the time line and what the goal of the session is. Often stating what the expectations are help to align the group. I would also ask the group “what is needed to get the group to good enough on the problem statement?”
    Then let the team take it from there.

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    Johnamos

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    I will intervene and share to the team the time we had spent and that we have not come to consensus. My question to them will be” Team, what do you think is needed for the team to move forward?”

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    Yang Liu

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    First , I will ask do we have consensus as a team,yes,no or close? and will ask them to write down the consensus set members think . By comparing i will ask them the why and how they could do better.
    As a action learning coach i can also introduce them measures to build consensus if they think the reason they don;t have consensus is because they don;t know how to

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    DrBea

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    If the team is having trouble getting to consensus I would ask 2 questions –

    what do we mean by consensus? (and get agreement on that)
    what would help us get to consensus?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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