Scenario: The Race is On

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

The team races to consensus on the problem. They are saying the same words but have not really talked about what the words mean.

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (7)

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    najiresearch

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    Possible intervention comments/questions:

    “How can we test whether there is consensus of understanding on the problem?”

    “How well are we exploring the meaning and understanding of our statements and words?”

    “What does consensus mean for this group? ” and then immediately or as a follow-on question “Our statements/words sound alike? Our statements/words mean the same thing? or is it something else?” Another follow-on: “How can we test that we truly have consensus?”

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    deviantthinking

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    Now is a great time to ask “Do we have real agreement on the problem?”, Ask everyone to write down their version of the problem statement. Then have the group share. Afterwards ask if they agree, yes, no, good enough.
    Even if the group agrees that they have a good statement and you don’t agree. I would let them move forward. It would become apparent in the next steps. After letting them work through it, if they didn’t realize that they problem statement was the problem, I might ask something like: Are we all solving for the same problem? Do you think we need to revisit the problem statement to be sure we all understand it?

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    Marina Mazi

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    As Action Learning Coach, I would ask some questions such as:
    “What is the impact of not reaching a consensus?”
    “How can we reach a consensus?”
    “Are all listening to all? ”
    “How we can improve the quality of our listening? ”
    I would create questions for the group based on their responses until that the situation was evidenced for them.

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    Carol Kam

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    Intervene with a quick health check.
    ~ how are we doing interms of understanding of the real problem? (Rate 1 to 10)
    ~ do we have agreement on the real problem? (Yes/No)
    ~ how do the team want to proceed the session if no firm agreement?
    Let the team to reflect and find their ways to continue the session.

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    corr

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    This would be a great time to check in with the group to see if there is agreement on the problem.Ask – Do we have agreement on the real problem? Thumbs up or thumbs down. Ask each person to write their understanding of the problem. Each person reads their understanding of the problem. Ask do we have agreement of the problem? If there is not agreement, continuue with questions.

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    Preston Yu

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    I will ask:
    – Do we all have an agreement to the problem?
    – How far (scale 1-10) are we from reaching the consensus?
    – Make them write down and read out the problem

    To ensure everybody is focusing on the same problem and does not deviate from the problem solving.

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    DrBea

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    when having the team write down the problem I emphasize to write in your own words what you believe the real problem is. Hopefully, this will prevent us from falling into this trap. However, it’s for the team to decide when they are at consensus and not for me to judge. As others have said – if they are not at consensus it will bubble up as they work towards a solution, in which case I would circle back to writing down the problem and testing for consensus again.

    Problem solving is not linear. If we discover we moved forward to quickly it’s perfectly fine to take a step back.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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