Scenario: Rabbit Hole

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

The team has gotten off track with their questions and is now investigating an unrelated issue.

 

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (7)

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    John.Tattersall

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    I would intervene with the question ‘how do we feel we are doing as a group’ to ascertain whether the group picks up on the fact that they have gotten off track. If the group doesn’t pick up on it then I may ask again ‘do we have clarity and agreement on the problem?’ I would then start off the group again with ‘OK who has the next question for the problem presenter on this specific problem?’

    Best regards

    John

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    Tomasz Janiak

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    I would start with the standard 3-step intervention – how are we doing as a group? what are we doing well? what can we do better? then, if they don’t notice it, I’d say “I have observed that we have gone off the track and are discussing an unrelated issue, has anyone else noticed that? What impact does it have on the group? How do we want to ensure that we keep focused in the future” ?

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    najiresearch

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    Exploration is part of the process, the coach cannot be buried in the problem and is certainly not the expert on every problem. I therefore cannot assume there is no relevance to the path they are on, I can only suspect. I would leave it up to the group to keep each other on track by intervening at the appropriate point with (some options):

    “How well are we/our questions helping us/each other come to a breakthrough solution to the problem presented/agreed?

    “How would we know if we were going off track?” Follow-on with “How can we ensure we give our attention to a breakthrough solution for the presented/agreed problem? Follow-on “What norm can we adopt?”

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    deviantthinking

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    This would be a great time to intervene and stay to the script. How are we doing as a team? What are we doing well? What could we do even better?
    At this point if the team feels like they are going off on a tangent it should self correct. It is not my place to judge if their inquiry is focused or not. There is always learning as they explore.

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    deviantthinking

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    Adding to my previous comment. I could also say, “I am noticing that we are investigating another issue? Has anyone else noticed that? What is the impact?” How well are we doing at coming up with a break through solution to our problem?”

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    Bel Villavicencio

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    I would use the SID Intervention Model : Situation – Impact – Do, starting with “Team, what is happening?” and after their response xxx I would ask “Team, what is the impact if we continue this xxx?” and follow it up with “What are we going to do about it?”

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    DrBea

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    This one is tricky — it’s not really my call that they are off track but I do want to insure they reach a breakthrough solution to the problem.

    I would start with the standard 3 questions –
    How are we doing as a team?
    What are we doing well?
    What can we do better?

    To test my assumption without derailing the team I would ask –

    In xx minutes we need to have a breakthrough solution to our problem. How are we doing moving towards that?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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