Scenario: Eye lock

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

The problem presenter locks eyes with you when presenting the problem.

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk

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Comments (9)

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    Bolen Pech

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    What ALC can do is to turn our eyes away from the PP’s eyes, by pretending to look at the notes or write something at the notes. By doing so, the problem presenter will look at other participants.

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    Ismady Norsyam Ishak

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    The body language of coach is very important how I position myself into the process. Coming to face such situation I will glance at my notes and divert my body towards the opposite more towards the team. Knowing that it may occur again gently position my posture out if there is no intervention.

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    Paul Duncan

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    As an ALC I would “lean out” from the table and like Ismady I would look at my notes and perhaps note this for an intervention later on if a pattern emerges

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    Silvia QR

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    I think it is very important as an AL Coach to effectively use our body language from the start, and as soon as we ask the Problem Presenter to introduce his/her problem, to “lean out” and even show “balcony perspective”. If he locks his eyes, 1) I would first look to other participants (panning) I believe that the subconscious message that sends is to look to other people 2) then take note of what is happening in case a pattern emerges for a later intervention, as mentioned by Paul.

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    DrBea

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    As all have said. I would look away. Simply looking at another participant will encourage them to follow the coaches gaze.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Barbara Sanchez

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    As an AL Coach, I will simply look away or look at the rest of the participants, look down, take notes of what’s going to give the problem presenter an opportunity to talk and have eye contact with the rest of the team members.

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    qiuyue Wu

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    When the problem presenter locks eyes with the coach during presenting the problem, usually he/she is a bit nervous or being watched by the coach. As a coach, I would simply look away from him/her and take some notes.

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    Denise Locke

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    This is about body language which we picked up on during our coaching training. I have used this technique and it does work. I would be sitting slightly apart from the group anyway so that it’s clear I am not a part of the discussion. As I locked eyes with this person I would look away at someone else and hopefully they would then look away too. I would then observe this person to see if this is something they keep doing. If they continue with this behaviour I would consider intervening and asking the group if they can remind us what the role of the coach is i.e. the coach is there to help the team with their learning but is not part of the problem solving. If it still continued I would perhaps ask the person during a break if there was anything they wanted to discuss as maybe they keep looking at the coach because they feel the need to communicate for some other reason than the problem in hand.

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    Nancy Frazier

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    In the case where the we are just starting the action learning session, I would lean back and slowly slide my chair away from the group to give a sense of separation between me as the coach and the working group. This also serves as a reminder that I am there to focus on the group’s performance, and not its problem solving. Then, if the eye contact continued, I would look at other participants as a way to signal that the problem presenter should direct their attention to the working group. As a second to last measure, I would resort to notes, but if this continued, I would intervene, but the preference is to not intervene, but to allow the situation to correct itself using the other forms of body language.

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