Scenario: Fire

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

The fire alarm sounds.

 

Tags: Action Learning Coach

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Comments (8)

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    Cristina Alafriz

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    Unless we were earlier advised by the venue that there is a fire drill, I will consider that as an emergency situation and safely guide the group outside the building.

    What will happen next will be done in consultation with the group and also the sponsor. If a real fire has occurred, my recommendation will be to suspend work that day and resume at another time when there are no psychological barriers that will get in the way of participation. If false alarm, then I will ask the group if they would like to continue that day. Either way, I will (1) offer my additional time for free since it was a fortuitous event; and (2) use the experience as a learning opportunity in itself – decision making, dealing with crisis, etc.

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    krijn

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    The main task is to bring the group in safety. Depending on the nature and extent of the fire and depending on the desire of the group, I would stop or continue the session

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    Mary Volz-Peacock

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    The sounding of the fire alarm is an emergency — ensure that members of the team exit the building as instructed so they are safe. Resume the action learning session on return to the building when appropriate.

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    Ivan Lam

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    I would intervene the discussion for a while and check the situation if there is a real need to exit or just a fire drill. The first priority is the safety for sure. Then we can resume the session when the situation returned to normal. It may be a good learning opportunity for the team to reflect what emergency action could be done if they are leading a team discussion with the same situation.

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    terychua

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    I would intervene the discussion and check if the alarm is real. If there is a real fire, I will have to take off my action learning coach hat and to guide the team to safety by instructing them to follow the evacuation procedure of the building management. Thereafter, I will hand the decision back to the team how would they want to proceed with the session from there. It is also a good learning intervention to bring up at the end of the session asking if such situation were to happen in a meeting, how would they have reacted. However, if the alarm is false, I will make known this to the team and ask the team what is their decision for the session.

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    Michael Bloemendal

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    I would intervene immediately. Assuming that someone of the hosting venue is in the group, I would ask him/her to take the lead and to handle according to the safety regulations of the place. If not, I would take the group to the first person knowing the safety regulations outside the room. In matters of safety no risk can be taken!
    In case the session could be continued soon, I would start with asking how the group felt about the alarm and the way we dealt with it. I would finish this with the question: ‘how did we do as a group’. In this way I would try to get back to focus and at the same time learn something about the group process. I then would ask the problem owner to summarize where he/she felt we were, when the fire alarm rang and continue the session. After 5 to 7 minutes I would interven to ask ‘How are we doing’ in order to check whether we are back to business in the right way.

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    Jim Carter

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    I agree with most of the comments above. Before any AL set it is always a good idea to do the standard checks that most trainers and coaches would be expected to make before the start of a set around fire exits, toilet locations and wether there are any fire drills dure that day..

    A brief at the beginning just informing people that there are no fire drills due today will ensure the sense of urgency should there be a fire alarm.

    Once the alarm sounds then the set must be immediately suspended. On return to the building the coach can then decide how to restart the set if there is time left of course.

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    DrBea

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    Great responses. First priority would always be safety. Once the full extent of the situation is known, I’d turn it back to the team with the question – How would you like to proceed?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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