Scenario: Solution Statements

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

When members of the team read their problem statement, what they read is clearly a solution. For instance – “Joe needs to hire me to do a team building activity with his team.”

Tags: Action Learning Coach

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Comments (9)

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    nelojones

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    As an action learning coach, what I would do having listened to members read out their problem statement is to ask the question – How are we doing identifying what the real problem is? I will further ask the problem presenter to present the problem again as i beleive this will help members listen again and be able to gain a better understanding of what the real problem is. I can now ask members to once again write down what their understanding of the real problem is and afterwards read out to all. hopefully what they will read will be different from the first time.

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    haslamalama

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    After each team member read their problem statements, I would ask the group “what do you notice about the problem statements?” to see what the team notices and see if anyone brings to light the fact that the statements are solutions oriented. I would follow up by asking “what is the impact of presenting a solution statement at this time?” Lastly, I would ask the team to re-write their problem statements and move forward to seeing if there is agreement on the problem.

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      Colleen Carruthers

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      I agree with this process – asking the group what they notice about the problem statements – and taking it from there.

      An alternative would be to ask ‘what are some of the guidelines around problem statements’.

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    Vivian Chang

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    First, I would ask the team members “Is it a problem statement or a solution?” If the team members could not differentiate a problem statement from a solution, I would ask the team “What is the difference between a problem statement and a solution?” If some team members were unsure of the difference, I would ask “Who can give us an example?”

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    Jennifer Stanigar

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    Upon hearing a solution couched within a team member’s problem statement, the coach should point out to that team member “It sounds like you are suggesting a solution instead of summarizing the problem. Could you take a moment to re-state that response to share your understanding of the problem with the team?”

    The coach could further serve team learning by asking the team “What is the impact on the team when there are solutions proposed before the team has reached agreement on the problem?”

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    najiresearch

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    After ALL of the responses have been read, I would put the question to the team “How can we tell the difference between a problem statement and a solution statement?” After receiving correct responses, reinforce by asking “How are we doing with couching our problem statements?” After receiving correct responses ask the team what they would like to do about their problem statements. Then take consensus and move on as usual. Of course, if the entire team has given the wrong response, a longer intervention is required to get the understanding. Perhaps offer the team two sample statements and ask which is a problem statement and which is solution statement.

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      Colleen Carruthers

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      I’m wondering if we might say “What are the differences between a problem statement and a solution?

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    clsun

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    I will ask the problem presenter – Could you read out the problem statement in a way of asking a question? If members have the same way of representation (solution oriented) latter, I will take a further action to ask the group members – What is the impact of presenting a solution statement in such situation? Being a group, what can we do for this kind of situation? Based on the frequency of occurrence, I will probably put the issue in the reflection session and invite all members to think what we will learned if the questions is read out in a way of presenting a solution statement?

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    DrBea

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    Be careful in terms of thinking the problem presenter has the answer to what the problem is. Very often they are too close to see it.

    Lately, I’ve taken to asking the team to read their problem statements to themselves and decide if it is actually a solution. And if it is a solution – write down what problem it would solve.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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