Scenario: Long Problem Statement

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

You ask the problem presenter to briefly state the problem but the person continues on for an inordinate period of time not only stating the problem but also describing contextual details related to the problem.

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

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Comments (8)

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    Cynthia Kitagawa

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    I would lean in to intervene and ask the problem presenter “Please focus on the problem you want help with and state it concisely. This will allow the team to help clarify the problem through the Action Learning process of asking and responding to insightful questions.” I would do this in a polite, yet direct, manner so the problem presenter can feel comfortable presenting the problem a second time. If I think the problem as presented was enough to get the team started, I would lean in and say “Let’s allow the team to ask questions to learn more about the problem. Who has the first question?”

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    Silvia QR

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    I would just lean in and ask “How can you share in one phrase what you want the team to help you with?”

    If the behaviour persists, then an awareness intervention:

    “Team, what is happening here?”
    “What is the impact on the curiosity of the team?” “Is there any other impact?”
    “how do you want to proceed with the rest of the session to allow curiosity (and whatever they mention, like time)?” (this to save face for the PP and acknowledge it can happen at any point in the session)
    “How can you share in one phrase what you want the team to help you with?”

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    Ben Sparkman

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    As the ALC, once I notice the problem presenter is “going overtime”, I would intervene and say, “Thank you, ………., for presenting your problem statement. Now, can you please summarize your problem for today in 2-3 sentences?”
    After the problem presenter summarizes, I would say, “Thank you”, and then I would ask, “Who has the first question?” and then “lean out”.

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    Barry Rush

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    I would intervene. “It would help the group if you could stop at this point and summarize in two sentences the problem and let’s have someone write it on the flip chart.” Thanks! That really is helpful! “Now who has the first question?”

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    DrBea

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    I would say – Thank you. Now in 1 sentence -what is the challenge you would like help with today.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Changguang Zou

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    I would intervene immediately, “Thanks, but what we need at the beginning is a concise description of the problem , so please summarize it in 2-3 sentences .”

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    Darren Tan

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    I would pre-amble by asking the problem presenter at the start, “In 3 minutes, can you describe the challenge you would like the team to help you with.” At the end of the 3 minutes, I would say, “Thank you. Can you summarise this in 2 sentences?”

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    Sean Reddell

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    Using my body language as a cue that I wanted to speak I would politely as the PP to rephrase what they are trying to say in 1 or 2 minutes.

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