Scenario: Extended Break

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

The team agreed to a 15 minute break, it’s 30 minutes before you get everyone back in the room and ready to restart.

Tags: Action Learning Coach

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Comments (13)

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    Tola Akintomide

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    As an Action Learning coach,at the start of any AL session I would have stated some additional rules to the regular AL rules. My usual additional rules are switching off the phone and the importance of time management. These rules would have been agreed to by the participants at the start of the session.
    So if the team spent 30minutes instead of the agreed 15minutes break, as we reconvene I will ask the question “How well are we doing with time?”. That way there is a subtle reminder to the team that they are not keeping to time. The expected response is that they are not doing very well, to which I will then ask “How could we have done better?”
    During the review at the end of the AL session, I will include this short coming in my observation on what the team should improve upon and the importance of time management.

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    Teresa

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    I would use the standard intervention–Did anyone else notice that the break went longer than announced? What is the impact of this? What do we plan to do about it?

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    nelojones

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    As an AL Coach I will ask the question did anyone else observe as I did that the break period extended for 30 mins instead of 15 mins as earlier agreed. the response will obviously be in the affirmative. I’ll then ask what is the impact on the process and how are we going to do about it? will allow the team to agree on the solution.

    I can also approach the situation by bringing it to awareness and then follow with the question how are we doing with keeping to time? How can we do better?

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    Julia Storberg-Walker

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    I would try to be explicit about the extended break like in the post above. (nice!). Something like: I noticed that our break lasted XX minutes but we had agreed to XX minutes. Did anyone else notice this? How does this impact us as a team? What would you like to do about it if anything? Depending on the context, I may extend my learning intervention into the three levels of learning–to try to expose the negative impact on individuals, teams, and organizations when agreed upon rules are broken w/no consequence.

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    Vivian Chang

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    First, I would bring the fact to all that we were late for 15 minutes against the break time agreed by all.

    Second, I would ask “How does it impact us?” & “How are we going to do about it?”

    Third, I would ask “What could we do differently?” & “What do we learn about it?”

    Last, if time allows, I would ask “How can we transfer the learning back to our workplace?”

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      Philip Hsi

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      I like Vivian’s last question. The transfer-to-workplace question will not only highlight the learning but also re-emphasis the importance of keeping team agreement.

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    Jeraldine Choo

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    I would ask the team ” What did we agree on the length of break?”, then I would bring out learning in two aspects (time management & credibility). “In terms of time-management, how does not keeping to time impact on the team and process?” ” How does this impact on the level of trust and credibility in the team?”. Depending on the response of the team, I would go on to draw parallel to personal and organisational context. Thereafter, I would ask the team “What could we do better moving forward?”

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    Jennifer Stanigar

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    When the team reconvenes, I would say “I notice that the team agreed to a 15 minute break, but it has been 30 minutes. What is the impact of this on the team and our ability to resume our session?”. After hearing from team members, I would ask “How would the team like to handle the timing of future breaks?”

    The role of the coach is to surface awareness when the group doesn’t adhere to collective agreements, and to allow individuals to comment and make suggestions as to how the team may want to proceed. It is a learning intervention that will help surface assumptions about the impact of upholding group agreements and conscientiousness of modeling team participation.

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    ffulton

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    Ensure team agrees to break length before breaking each time. Ask the team to describe the impact of starting late before the next break to help set expectations.

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    Catherine Chiu

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    Once the group has gathered, ask ‘Group, how are we doing with respect to time management?’
    Follow responses, with ‘Why has this occurred?’; ‘What impact will it have on our work now?’ and ‘How can we improve?’

    Key here is why the break was taken. For the future, it would be important to assess should the break have been taken/ will we have a better concept of time needed for a break/ imprinting time of reconvening by writing it up before everyone! takes the break!

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    Chien Wen-Che wayne

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    As a ALC, I’ll ask team when they’re back to re-start.
    1.Can anyone tells us how long we planned to rest for the break, and how long we actually rest?
    2.How can the quality of team time management be improved?

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    DrBea

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    Once again – great responses.

    I would start with the standard 3 questions. If this didn’t get mentioned I’d use the I’ve observed sequence.

    Happy coaching
    Bea

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    LIXIAOXIN

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    As AL coach , I’ll ask team when they’re back to re-start? and What’s your next plan ?

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