Scenario: Backfire

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: A team member attempts to do a process check for you, but handles it abruptly. For instance – instead of checking without judgement, they turn to another team member and say – “I’ve observed significant tension from you, what’s the impact of that on the team?” The other team member gets angry and says – “I wasn’t tense! Now I am!”

Tags: Action Leaning, Action Learning Coach, WIAL, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk

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Comments (6)

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    Ng Sin Ain

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    Under this situation, it is actually a learning opportunity, therefore intervention is required. Firstly, I can ask if significant tension an observation or judgment? What is the impact of this question? How can we better frame this question? Secondly, I can ask what was the emotion behind the response by the other team member, then how can the other team member response differently? This is a learning opportunity to elevate the quality of the question and statement in responding to the question.

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    Borin Buoy

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    Firstly, I would intervene by asking the following questions: Team, what is happening now? (allow team members to share ideas). What will happen to the team if the situation still continue ? (allow team members to share ideas). What can we do to improve our team? (allow team members to decide).

    Secondly, I would draw team members back to AL session by reminding and asking question: “Team, one of the 6 components in AL is commitment to learn – together, and also apply your leadership competency in AL session. So, who has the next question?”

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    Marsel Gareev

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    I would ask “why is it important to respect the colleagures’ rights to feel whatever they are feeling?” What should we do now to ensure that we do respect that right and ensure psychological safety in the team?

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    Savin Oeun

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    Being as a coach, I would remind team to practice their leadership competency, and I note down how they practice it.

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    Yannie Hua

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    I would intervene by asking questions like:

    What are happening now? What do we notice?
    What would be the impact? How are we going to cope with it?
    What are our ground rules?
    What leadership competencies are we practicing?
    What do we learn from here?
    What do we learn from what we learned?

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    Justyna Truchel

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    The way I would intervene depends on the fact if it was the team member’s own initiative or the coach’s one.
    I assume that the team member simply came up with the idea to do a process check during the session.
    In this situation I would turn to the whole group asking for reminding the three levels of learning during an AL session (organizational/team/individual).
    Next, I would elicit from the team some examples of what we can learn on all three levels by observing this situation.
    Finally, I would ask two questions: “What are we as a team doing best?”, “What can we as a team do better to…?”

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