Scenario: Bathroom Break

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The session has been going for a long stretch and participants start stepping out to use the bathroom.

Tags: Action Learning, ActionLearning Coach, Team Coach, WIAL, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    Keith Almalvez

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    Bathroom breaks or bio breaks can’t be helped sometimes, but proper intervention needs to be in place to ensure the Action Learning session will still be a productive one. I will start calling out the team’s attention by asking “Team, I observed we’re already working for XX minutes now and some of our members stepped out. Have you also noticed it?” Once the team affirmed, I’ll continue by asking “Team, what would be the impact if members are stepping out while we’re still in session?” After the team provided their insights, I’ll ask “As a team, how would you like to handle the session with some members not present?” If the team suggests to wait for them, then I’ll ask them in return how many minutes should we wait before resuming the session. If the team decides to call for a short break, I’ll ask the team to decide how long the break should be factoring in the remaining time in the Action Learning session. This is also a good opportunity to ask the team (once they’re back or complete) to have an agreement when it comes to the frequency of bio breaks in the session.

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    Anna Kozoń

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    I would ask the group if they need a break. I would also check if the structure of the session and planning is allowing fulfilment of all basic needs.

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  • Avatar

    Phạm Thanh Tùng

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    I intervened: “Hello Team, I observed a few members leaving the session, what do you think if we continue to ask questions to the rest of the members?”

    “What does the team think if we take a 5 minute break?”

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  • Avatar

    Kwan Leong Lee

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    If I were the Action Learning coach, I would in the beginning ask the team how they can be fully engaged in the session. If the bathroom issue is raised, I will allow them to set the team norm. If in the beginning there is no group norm being mentioned about bathroom breaks and since the session has been going on for a while, I will intervene and ask the team whether they want to take a short break.

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  • Avatar

    Minh Hao Phan Thi

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    As an Action Learning, I will intervene as follows:
    1. I observed that there are few member leaving our discussion, do you all observe the same thing?
    2. What does the impact to our teamwork?
    3. What do our team decide to do to enhance our teamwork?

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    yosaporn punjamawat

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    I would intervene
    -Team! Did we see one member of us left the group now due to a matter issue?
    – Team! How are we doing about situation?

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    • Avatar

      Somsith Meesangnil

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      I will intervene, “Team, do you notice that some members stepped out to the bathroom?” (S) If team members go to the bathroom during the process, what will the effect be on our session? ” or “If we miss some members during the process, how does it affect help the problem present? (I) ” Some members propose that we take a break for 15 minutes to stretch. then carry on the process. How about the other ideas? (D).

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    Nabih Jabr

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    I struggle a bit with asking too many questions about a simple, natural issue. This can risk exasperating some participants. I would keep it as simple and possible and ask if they’d like to take a short break.

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