Scenario: Favorite Tool

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

Your favorite tool for diagraming a problem is a mind map. You know doing this would help the team see this problem much more clearly.

 

Tags: Action Learning Coach

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Comments (10)

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    Colin Yeow

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    I would ask the team “Team,how are we doing as a team at the moment? (scale question)”. Following that, I would ask “Other than asking questions, are there other tools that we know about that might help the team at this stage?”

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    Cristina Alafriz

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    As an Action Learning Coach, we are not in a position to recommend any tool. Assuming the team is stuck, I will ask the group – On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our team’s ability to clarify the problem? What will happen to the team if we continued at this level? What can we do to improve? (Or a more targeted question – What resources or tools can we use to help us clarify the problem better?)

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    jesslyn.chow

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    The role of an Action Learning Coach is not to impose nor influence any tool based on his own preference. Should the coach observed that the problem is not clear, or the team is not progressing, first ask if the team is clear about the problem. Followed by, is there an agreement? Then should the team replies a unanimous ‘No’, the next question could be, “How can we gain clarity of the problem?” and leave it to the team to problem solve.

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    Faz_Kamaruddin

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    This is a tricky situation – because mind maps are my personal favorite tool. I even mind map my packing lists for my suitcase every time I travel!

    In this situation, however, I will trust the AL process and let the group resort to reflective questioning and listening for them to get the clarity they need to identify and solve the problem.

    Specific learning opportunities notwithstanding as the group gets consensus on problem, my interventions would probably be around the areas of quality of questions, type of questions, participation from everyone in the group, and team performance. Key questions I would ask would include – How are we doing as a group so far? – and go round the table before getting the group to decide on what they want to do next.

    Thanks.

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    yeelaifong

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    The action learning coach is not a facilitator, and should refrain from directing the process. The 15-20 minute check-in will help to ascertain if the team has agreement to the problem. If they continue to struggle even after another, say, 10 minute of questions, I will intervene again and ask – How close are we toward reaching clarity of the problem? What other ways (questions or tools) would be helpful to move the team toward agreement on the problem?

    Ultimately, it is about empowering the team the own the process and decide how best to move forward.

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    info@reijbroek.nl

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    Aha,… it’s the pitfall for every ‘coach’; thinking that his own tool will help the group in their process ! And, by leading the group towards your own expertise by questionning, is in fact covering up that you make a statement!! If the group really get stucked, as a coach you have to set a time out with a questions as; ‘what do you see is happening?’ Please wrap up your problem definition on this moment, who wants to describe the workingprocess up till now, what do you need to continue, what ’s your question to me as the coach……..

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    Elizabeth Tsai

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    Indeed! One of the pitfalls for every ‘coach’. Don’t we all sometimes have our favorite tools or stories that we see may be helpful to the team. But AL coaches do not get involved in working on the problem nor thinking about what tools can be helpful at the moment. AL coaches focus all the energy to help the group self-learn and improve their performances both individually and as a team, so if I were in this state of mind, that means I have diverted my attention to be involved in working on the problem.

    First, I would need to remind myself “hey, come back to what’s happening with the group now” and put aside whatever ideas came into my mind. Take a deep breath, trust the standard process and ask :
    1. “OK, we have been working for xx minutes, how are we doing as a team so far? On a scale of 1-10?
    2. What are we doing well?
    3. What could we do even better?
    4. Do we have agreement on the problem – yes or no?
    5. Let’s write it down to see if we do have any agreement…Can you read what you have written please?

    If the team is still struggling on clarifying the real problem, I would focus on the quality of questions/balance and quality of participation/if the group does what it says it needs to do better/team dynamics. After all, they are already using a very powerful and useful tool – asking questions.

    If other problem solving tools are helpful to the team, I trust that member of the group will surface them through asking questions, and the decision is still up to themselves.

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    DrBea

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    GREAT ANSWERS! Yes I was trying to trick you.

    It’s not for us as coaches to impose tools.

    I would ask the standard 3 questions – How are we doing as a team? what are we doing well? And what can we do better?

    I would also ask if we had consensus on the problem; have the write it down and read out what they’d written; and again ask if there was consensus.

    Assuming the answer to the consensus problem was no – I’d ask – What tools, resources or methods do we have available to help us get to consensus.

    Leaving the team to determine what is best for them.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    terychua

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    I will not offer the team the tool, not use any leading/ probing questions to steer them in the direction. I will follow the process to get each to write down their understanding of the problem, thereafter verbatim their writings. Assuming there is no consensus, I will ask them how and what can they do differently to better define the problem. I will leave it to the team to decide.

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    Porntip Jakwichtamrong

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    As an Action Learning Coach, I would not intervene to influence the team to adopt the mind map regardless of how useful I think the tool might be for the team. The team should go through the learning themselve without my influence on what tool can be used.

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