Scenario: Two Owners

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

You have two problem owners for your project. You assume that the problem owners have coordinated the presentation of the problem for the kickoff session. As soon as one starts to present the problem the other interrupts with a very different view of the problem.

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (12)

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    Marina Mazi

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    Once it had been agreed with the group who would be presenter of he problem, I would continue until the first intervention, which probably they would not reach the consensus. If they had not the agreement about the problem presenter, I would make this agreement and then continue.

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    Colleen Carruthers

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    I might suggest that each person gets time to explain their version of the problem. I would say something about how good it is that we’re going to hear two perspectives – I would ensure that each person gets a limited amount of minutes to share their version.

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    Unri Babb

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    This is an interesting one. While it may be challenging to to give more than one person enough air time that they feel satisfied, it may actually provide a great opportunity for the group to benefit from two perspectives on the same problem. Asking a question to the group could be useful here, the coach could ask “I have observed that two persons would like to share their perspective on this urgent problem, would the group like to give them two minutes each to summarize their view of the problem?”

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    Gilda Salud

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    At the start of the Action Learning activity, the assumption here is that the Problem Presenter has just started to present the problem. While this was going on, the other project owner started disagreeing with what is being stated by the assigned Problem Presenter.

    I would intervene by saying:

    1) Team, what is happening here? (will wait for possible responses i.e. different perspectives of the problem is being stated by team members);
    2) What is the impact if we continue this way? (will for the possible responses from the team members again ie. we will not be able to clearly identify what the problem is and it might take time before we get started giving out our questions to really clarify the real problem)
    3) What then is the decision of the team? (the team might either say: 3.1. let the assigned problem presenter finishing stating his problem there and we will ask questions to arrive at the real problem; or 3.2 let the project owners present their problems one at a time in two action learning sessions.

    As the Action Learning Coach, I will be keen on what the decision of the team will be, but the main focus is to ensure that we have a common understanding of the problem.

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    Cheryl Chua

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    Team, do we have a consensus on the 1st problem presented? On a scale of 1-10, what is the understanding of the 1st problem presented? 1 been not understand, 10 been understand totally. (I would expect the team to response as low rating). Following that, I will ask the following questions:
    1) Team, what is happening here to the understanding of the problem? (expecting them to say low understanding)
    2) What would you all suggest to improve the understanding of the problem?
    3) (After they have given their suggestions) I would ask who have the next questions?

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    Kadeen

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    I would ask the group if it would be beneficial to hear both problems such that it may enhance the understanding of the problem. If there is consensus to hear both sides I would ask the group to allocate an appropriate time for each to share their perspectives.

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    John Nguyen

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    As AL Coach, I will apply the SID model and ask the team:

    Team, we have 2 problem owners for the project and now they present the different points of view.

    Do you think what it will impact to your project?

    What you decide to do to overcome this situation?

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    Claire Davidson-Williams

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    If there are two problem presenters, in my opening statement I will offer both parties equal time to make brief remarks for a problem statement to the group. If as one starts to present the other interrupts to give a different version of the problem; I would first remind the group of the ground rules, and remind him/her that as a co-presenter he/she will be given similar time to give a perspective of the problem

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    ina.b.teves

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    Two options, depending on whether the group is comfortable with stating the problem before them

    1) if group is confident/comfortable with each other:OPTION A:start broad with: what is happening? What is the impact on the team if this continues? How can we do better? (SID)
    2) if the group is conflict-averse or uncomfortable with being frank. OPTION B: start specific, with my observation. I observe that the two problem owners have different perspectives of the problem. What is the impact…how can we do better?

    Then get a consensus of what action to do better as they continue.

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    Irene Chia

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    I will seize the learning opportunity to ask the team,
    1. “Team, we have (x) amount of time left for this session. What are you noticing?”
    2. “What would you like to maximise this limited time going forward?”

    At the end of the AL session, I would ask the group what they have learnt about managing diverse views as a team.

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    DrBea

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    This is one of those that is a lesson learned for next time. When preparing if their are multiple problem presenters be clear how they will present the problem. Between the 2 of them the presentation should be kept to about 2 minutes. Everything else can come out through the questions as they are more than welcome to ask questions of each other and the team members.

    Since in this scenario the second problem owner is just interrupting as they have not been asked a question. I would ask them what question they are answering?

    If they push back that it’s important. I will ask them – what can you do when the presentation of the problem is complete that will allow you to raise your concerns and follow the ground rules?

    I police heavy early on in the process – enforcing the ground rules and holding the problem presenter to about 2 minutes. It’s important to establish my role as the coach as well as the importance of the ground rules.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    lpwooten

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    This is an interesting situation and presents the opportunity for the group to transcend from the divergence to convergence stage of problem solving. Thus, an intervention is to have both people present or re-present the problem, and then through questions, have the team define the problem. In addition, interventions should be used as check-ins to verify convergence.

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