Scenario: Problematic Problem Presenter

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

The problem presenter schedules a half hour meeting immediately before the Action Learning session. During this meeting they present their solution to the problem about to be discussed in the Action Learning session.

Tags: WIAL Action Learning

Trackback from your site.

Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    BecciWalker

    |

    I’m not clear if they present the solution to just the AL coach, or whether they do this to the entire group.

    If it was just to me as the AL coach, I would ask them what they hoped to get out of the coming session, given that they already had a solution. After we discussed this, they may be able to reframe their problem so that it tackled a specific part of their issue (not yet solved). If they appeared to have that problem completely solved, then I would ask if they could consider whether they could go into the discussion with an open mind, or alternatively find a different problem.

    If they scheduled the discussion with the entire group and laid out their solutions, then we could discuss as a group the impact of them coming to the session with a solution. I think this is a very good learning opportunity. And, after this we still have the option of getting them to open up their thinking, refocus the problem or choose an alternative problem depending on the outcome of the discussion.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Cleo Wolff

      |

      Excellent view of the situation. I quite agree with you! I would do the same, probably.
      Cleo Wolff

      Reply

  • Avatar

    ShobaCh

    |

    From the scenario, it is not clear if the ‘solutioning’ meeting has already happened. If it has, then my strategy would be similar to Becci’s strategy in the sense that I would ask the team whether the solution has been set, and will not be changed. IF that were the case, we either pick another problem, or postpone the set.

    If the meeting hasn’t happened, I would use the opportunity to explain the purpose of AL sets. Perhaps the meeting was scheduled based on a lack of understanding of the AL process.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sofia Georgiadou

    |

    I begin with explaining what Action Learning is and brief on the ground rules and the AL components. (Addressing the problem presenter) I hear that a solution to the problem has already been presented. (to the group) From what you have heard about the AL approach and given the existence of a solution to the problem how do you expect to benefit from the AL session? How might the predetermined solution affect the AL session? (to the problem presenter) So, how would you like to continue? Is there a real problem to share with the group as we speak?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Han Ee

    |

    I would have to have a conversation with the sponsor of the session.
    The concern here is the commitment to learning and the ability to question and listen when you have pre-conceived notions.
    It would have to be clear what are the expectations of the AL session and if it is feasible.

    An attempt should also be made with the PP to explore reframing the problem statement.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Arend

    |

    As an action learning coach I would ask the presenter several questions. I realize myself there is not a perfect script. Mij questions will vary based on his/her answers. Also the amount of questions will vary based on the owners answers.

    On forehand I would compliment him/her with his active attitude to work for a solution which is great.
    After which a should ask ” Why do you want to present the problem and solution to the group?
    “Is there any reason why you should not use the power of the group in finding solutions for problems or finding underlying problems for problems?”
    “For what problem is the presented solution the best option?”
    “Can you imagine the possibility that other problems can be/are the cause of the described problem?”
    “Can jou name/ tell me which other problems you think/or have thought about?”
    “Are jou familiar with the power of creative problem solving with AL?”
    “If you think about it again: Is there still any reason why you should not listen to/or use the creative related problems and solutions in a teamproces?”

    If the owner maintains to his statement I will tell him “OK I understand” We just go in the meeting and I will ask him to present his problem to the groep in 3 minutes after which I will ask the croup to ask questions about the problem and presented solution.

    I expect on forehand the groups questions will convince the owner to stand open for the process. If not I expect the quality and positive attitude of the group will persuade the owner.

    If not I think the owner will have a leadership problem with his team.
    If not I go to my ordering party to discus how to proceed.

    If the ordering party wants to proceed the first action should be to start an AL with the above group to speak about the process, the problem and the solutions in this team.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    DrBea

    |

    I would start by reminding the team – Action Learning is effective on problems that don’t currently have a clear solution.

    To the problem presenter I would follow with – Given this, are you open to that a different solution might emerge from this session.

    If the response were YES – I would continue with the session as planned.

    If the response were NO – I would ask the team (including the problem presenter) – Given this, what’s the best use of our time?

    Whatever they decided at that point – work a different problem, cancel them meeting, something else – I would agree to.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

    Reply

  • Avatar

    lanzeng

    |

    As AL coach, I will communicate with the sponsor of this program, taking about the requirements of action learning, and the results of breaking the rules. Then let them to choose whether they will continue to use the problem.
    -If they choose another topic, it very good.
    -If they continue to use the problematic problem presenter, I may introduce the ground rules and the condition of problems’ choosing in action learning, stress that it will not a proper topic to discuss if we now have already get the solution, otherwise we actually won’t get to learn from action learning. And let the team make the final decision.

    Reply

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Conference Schedule Update

Please Note

The above WIAL Global Conference 2017 Schedule is subject to change.

Planning Your Conference

Please refer to the conference schedule on the WIAL China website for any last minute changes.

Click Here