Scenario: Passing Notes

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

Someone walks in the room where the team is working and passes a note to one of the participants.

Tags: Action Learning Coach

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Comments (8)

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    Cleo Wolff

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    Question like this makes me to reflect about my role and responsibility as Action Learning Coach. Usually, in traditional teams we tend to let the things go on until that might become a problem. As Action Learning Coach I need to be awake all time concerning what is the learning opportunity I can offer to our team? In this case, I believe as Coach I should intervene and ask: I have seen someone receiving a message/note from someone else that is not a participant of our team. Have anyone else seen that? What is the impact on our team when we have someone delivering a note to one of our members? How can we handle that? After the team have decided how to handle, I would ask who has the next question.

    Cleo

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    Patricia C. Gonzalez

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    Good mornng Bea, This actually happened in one of my sessions. The individual who came in the room did not call attention to herself and the individual who receeived the note was only out of the conversation for a moment but looked impacted. We were very close to our designated break time, so sensing that the attention of the individual was at risk, I intervened. I asked how the group was doing with balanced participation. The individual who received the note spoke up, asking the team to take an early break, all agreed. When we reconveened I asked the group to tell me why we took anearly break (for the individual who needed it). Proceeded wit hwhat is the impact when not everyone in the room is participating in the work? Then finished with how they want to proceed should this happen again.

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    Chien Wen-Che

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    1.I observe that outsider walks in and pass note to our participant. What is the impact of this on the group?
    2.How do we wish to handle this in the future?

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    Megha Awasthy

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    We learnt about 3 levels of intervention in a group and I would assume that this situation calls for the “hard hitting” response.

    I would start with “I have observed that a participant has received a note, while the session was in progress; What impact does interruptions of this kind, have on the momentum and quality of the discussion in the group?”.

    I would prompt a few more replies by asking “What else?” (maybe twice). and then “So what is the group going to do about it?” After receiving the replies i would say “Thank You. So who has the next question?”

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    Ben Yung

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    I will intervene whenever I find the team is affected or there is a learning opportunity. The latest intervening point is when the note sender left the meeting room (if there is any). I will ask “Team, what had happened?” And then “What is the impact on the team?” And then “What do we learn from the situation?” Or “What did the team do well this time?” followed by “How can we do better next time?” If any participant is affected greatly, I will ask “Team, what happened?” followed by “Team, what will you decide to do in this situation?” or “Team, how do you want to handle this situation?”

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    Narendra

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    This scenario provides a good learning to us as Coaches and we need to take precaution that such intrusion does not place.

    My intervention would be in the form of questions like : what is the impact of such incident on the group? How could we handle this better from now on wards? Will it help if we receive such communication during the break?

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    wial_talk

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    Fantastic responses. As you have all said I too would use –
    I’ve observed someone receiving a note, did anyone notice that?
    What is the impact on the team?
    How do we want to handle it?

    As we have seen from the responses the answer to this last question can vary – from take an early break to allow the team member to deal with the situation to spread the word that such interventions are not acceptable.

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    Neal_Henderson

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    After reading all of the replies, and Dr. Bea’s response, I think my response is it depends on my take on the team in the moment. I think there are three probable paths depending on how I perceive the impact on the team. If there does not seem to be a huge impact of the team,At an appropriate opportunity, I would ask the three standard questions.(What, so what, now what) and see what comes up, if anything. If there has been a greater impact on the team, I might try a more direct approach, has anyone else observed side conversations? Finally, if there has been an obvious and negative impact that calls for a very direct approach, I might call the individuals on it, i.e., I have observed notes being passed, did anyone else notice? Followed by the so what and now what questions.

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