Scenario: Problem Shift

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

The team is shifting in their understanding of the true nature of the problem. For instance the original problem is presented as “How should we restructure the organization for efficiency?” and they are shifting to “The communication between team members has eroded to the point that we work against each other instead of helping each other.”

Tags: Action Learning Coach

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Comments (6)

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    Hemant Sagar

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    As a coach I would ask the group the question ” How are we doing about understanding the question as a group?” and would then ask each participant “ok or not ok?” If the new understanding of the question requires new questions and a whole new approachIf the initial time plan has come to an end I would ask the group whether they need more time and consequently let the session go on for some extra minutes as long as the energy level is good,

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    Amy Moseley

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    I would start the reframing process to validate that they all agree to the shift in the problem statement. I’d ask them to write down the problem as they see and have everyone share (with the problem presenter, if present sharing last). I’d ask, do we have agreement on the problem? Do we believe the problem statement reflects the real problem (or is it implying a solution)?

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    Danny Slater

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    Has our understanding of the problem changed? Yes/no/maybe?
    What is the real problem? OR
    Could each of you take a moment to reflect, and write down what you believe the real problem is, starting with the words: ‘The real problem is…’
    Ask each person to read out in turn, sticking to what is written (rather than elaborating)
    Do we have agreement on what the problem is?

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    summerer27

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    I would get group to revisit the problem statement by getting them to write it down again to see if the groups understanding of the true problem has shifted

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    DrBea

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    I’d let the team explore the new avenue. When the time felt right I would check in with the 3 standard questions – How are we doing? What are we doing well? and what can we do better?

    Followed by – Do we have agreement of what the problem is? And have them write it down. Once everyone had read their response I would ask again if we had consensus on the problem.

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    Narendra

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    I entirely agree with approach suggested by Dr. Bea. Essentially its the team’s decision as to what they feel the real problem is?

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