Scenario: Clear Actions(2024)

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team starts to identify actions before the end of the session.

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

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Comments (8)

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    Amar PATEL

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    Ask the team:
    • On a scale of 1-10, how well do we undertand the problem?
    • What will the impact be if the team does not fully undertand/agree on what the problem is?
    • How does the team want to proceed?

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    Angela Scurlock

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    When actions or solutions are presented, I use the simplified problem-solving stages visual and ask the question is that helping us with the problem statement, is that part of the goal, is that a potential solution, or is that an action? This allows the person to self-identify that they need to re-focus. In parallel I write down any solutions or actions that come up to use later in the session when we get to those phases. I use the question “Earlier in the conversation the following potential action item was mentioned. Based on our agreed upon problem statement, is this still considered a potential action?”

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    Kant Srithundorn

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    If we see the team is about to identify actions, I will intervene by asking them what the they discussing. I will then ask them what will happen if we continue like this. Then I will remind them of the first two ground rules, which are “Statements only in response to questions.

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    Justyna Majecka-Żelazny

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    If the team begins to determine the actions at the beginning of the session I ask whether the team has a consensus on the understanding of the problem, I ask each of them to write down how they understand the problem, and then each to read what they wrote down. I suggest that they determine how much agreement they have on their understanding of the problem, for example, using the tool of a scale from 1 to 10. If there is no agreement I ask what could help the group to have such agreement, what question could help them to come to an agreement.

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    Kathy Zhang

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    As am action learning coach, encountering such situation presents an opportunity for skillful intervention. I would acknowledge the team’s enthusiasm first by saying like “ I appreciate the team’s energy and commitment. Let’s pause for a moment and ensure we’ve thoroughly explored the problem. Remember, our goal is not just find actions but also deeply understand the issue.” The I will try to guide them back on track. I’d ask reflective question like:” How might we dig deeper into the root cause?”

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    Linda Robles

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    I would say, I hear actions you would like to take and that is good brainstorming, but we are not there yet. I would ask if we have identified the problem first. I would ask each person to write down what they think the problem is and proceed from there. I would remind everyone we don’t want to address action items until we all have consensus on what the problem is.

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    Derek Laout

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    As an action learning coach, I would do the following if the team starts identifying actions before the session ends:

    Confirm Initiative: Positively respond to their proactivity, but remind them to fully go through the problem analysis.
    Focus on the Process: Ensure that all steps of the learning process are followed to guarantee deep understanding and effective solutions.
    Monitor Timing: Guide the team to spend enough time on each phase of the discussion before moving on to action plans.

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    Morgan Lucci

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    If the group has not reached consensus on the problem, it could be an opportunity to intervene with a question like, “What is the impact of moving into solutions before reaching consensus on the problem?”. It could also be an opportunity to discuss as a group if consensus has been reached, so that they can move into brainstorming once in agreement.

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