Scenario: Coffee Break Written by DrBea on August 13, 2018. Posted in Action Learning, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: A participant gets up from the group to fill a cup of coffee. Tags: Action Leaning, Action Learning Coach, WIAL, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk Trackback from your site. Comments (19) Maria Acker August 20, 2018 at 4:39 pm | # If leaving the group for a cup of coffee or bathroom break is within the group norms that were established, as a Coach I wouldn’t say or do anything. If norms had not yet been established, I would take a moment to ask the group how they feel about someone leaving the group for coffee, the restroom, etc. and engage them in a learning opportunity. Reply Caroline d'ESTEVE August 22, 2018 at 8:39 pm | # If a person needs to leave the room to fill a cup of coffee I would ask to the group how that affects the group effciency and how they want to handle this situation “I observe from time to time that people leave the room during the session to fill a cup of coffee. What is the impact of this on the group? How do you wish to handle this in the future?” Reply Christine Bona De Napoli August 22, 2018 at 10:54 pm | # As an Action Learning Coach I would make an intervention saying: “I have observed that one person left to get a cup of coffee, how the group would like to handle this situation?” Reply Pakorn Payoonsavatdeth August 24, 2018 at 8:16 am | # If the coffee-break has not establish at the beginning of the session. I would intervene after the participants back from fill up the coffee by ask questions. I have observed that we have someone left to get a cup of coffee during the team working together. How would this effect with quality working as a team.? And then i would ask how can we working better as team work? let’s them decide and acknowledge the decision. Reply Jessica Panazzolo August 29, 2018 at 7:18 pm | # I agree with Christina. Depending on the group’s response, I would ask them, “How important is everyone to be in the group?” and “How do we want this to be done?”. If the group said that they would also like a coffee, I would say, “Would you like some coffee too and then we all return to the session? We have 3 minutes, is that enough?” Reply Velma Morton September 11, 2018 at 1:21 am | # I would state to the group what I have observed and follow up with a series of questions. “I noticed that someone has just left the table!” How does that impact the learning process of the group? How would the group like to handle this?” As there coach it is my job to keep the group focused and learning and if one group member breaks the focus of the group I must get the team back on the learning process at hand. Reply Ana Paula Alfredo September 14, 2018 at 1:55 am | # If that was not agreed before as an initiative from the group, I would intervene by saying. I´ve observed that X has stand up to coffee. Has anybody also observed this? How this impact the group? How should we proceed as a group in this situation? Reply Emmanuel Ossom October 11, 2018 at 8:23 pm | # I will first make my observation known to the rest of the team. After the member who got up to grab a cup pf coffee returns to the group, i will share my observation with the team as follows and ask a question: I have noticed that someone from the group got up to fill his cup with coffee. Did anyone else notice that? What was the impact of this action on the group? After they share their responses to this question, i will ask a follow-up question: What should be done first if someone wants to do the same thing or a similar thing in the future? Certainly members would come up with ways to comport themselves in the group in relation to seeking to do their personal things or even doing something else that somehow would benefit the team whilst an Action Learning Team is at work. It is most likely that their responses and discussions on them would lead to the creation of “house working rules” that would govern the working of the team in their best interest. If this behaviour of a member getting up to leave the team to do something is not checked, it might distract the focus of the entire team, and might encourage others too to get up and leave the group at anytime which is a recipe for disrupting the smooth flow of the team’s work. A team member who returns to the team after leaving the team for something else without permission may lose track of the progress the rest of the team has made in his/her absence and this could lead to he/she delving into matters that might have already been addressed whilst he/she was away. This will constitute taking the team aback and that would mean unnecessary delay in executing the task at hand. Checking that every team member alerts the team before leaving to do something or doing something whilst sitting in the group at the time the group is at work, is to emphasize the importance of every team member to the team’s task as it is prudent that the team’s task is collectively owned and handled as such for the team to accomplish its goal. Reply Rachael Olivier October 22, 2018 at 8:55 pm | # As best practice, prior to starting the session, I would first discuss group norms and whether or not the group would like to provide a quick recap if someone steps out of the room. If the norms were not set at the beginning of the session, I would allow time for the participant who stepped out to walk back in and do a quick check in with the group. I would say something along the lines of: “Let’s do a quick check in! I noticed one of our participants have stepped out of the room, would the group like to set a norm for participants of step out of the room? Would the group like to provide a quick recap once the participant is back in the room? If we choose to do so, who will be the recap presenter?” This scenario, will allow for a norm to be set, along with the designated person who will perform the recap, should the group decide to have a recap. Reply Ana Motta November 21, 2018 at 11:18 am | # It depends on what was agreed at the beginning of the Action Learning meeting. If the coffee break has not been combined by the group as an Action Learning Coach whose responsibility is to ensure time management, group performance and leadership skills learning, I can intervene with questions such as “What is the importance of everyone being group? “and then add,” How does the group see this? “or” How does the group want to work with this? “If the group said they would like a coffee too, I would ask,” How do you want to do with some members who want to have coffee now? “The role of the Action Learning Coach is to provoke learning processes, but the group decides how they want to work. Reply Mecaela Paula Peralta December 26, 2018 at 7:29 am | # If this was not part of the prior agreements, I will share my observation with the team and ask them how they would like to proceed. a. If they choose to proceed, I will ask them about the impact of proceeding as an incomplete group. I will also ask how they will keep the person who left up to speed when he/she returns, and ask about how we can prevent similar occurrences in the future. b. If they choose to wait, I will pause in silence and wait for the person to come back. When we are ready to resume, I will ask the group about the impact of his/her leaving, and ask about how we can prevent similar occurrences in the future. Reply Naveen Chopra January 2, 2019 at 11:58 am | # I would have set a norm before the discussion, when this happens I would ask I observed someone taking a break to fill up their coffee, during the discussion. Did anyone else observe that? What’s the impact on the team when someone takes a coffee break during the discussion? How do we want to handle the coffee filling breaks during our time together? Reply Amanda Leung January 6, 2019 at 10:08 pm | # If only one participant left for a coffee break once, and the team discussion seemed not to be affected, I would not intervene at such moment. Unless I observe that the same happened frequently and affected the team discussion, I would intervene the team by asking how they feel about the situation, and let them explore any impacts and how to improve further. Reply SHAINA VANEK January 10, 2019 at 11:56 am | # I agree with Maria Acker (e.g., if the behavior is within the group norms that were established, as a Coach I wouldn’t say or do anything). If such breaks were not pre-negotiated through the group norming process, I would ask whether anyone else noticed that so-and-so got up for coffee and what the impact of that was. Depending on the culture of the group you’re working with as a coach, it may not be seen as a disruption at all, whereas with other groups, the other team members may be annoyed or distracted by what they perceive as a disruption. As a coach, it’s important to unpack such issues – either while forming norms or when issues arise organically. Reply Michelle Ow February 17, 2019 at 9:38 am | # I will observe for a while more, and notice if the behaviour recurs, whether with the same team member or with other team members. If the behaviour is recurrent, then I will intervene with: * on a scale of 1-10, how disruptive might it be when a team member leaves the group conversation? 1 being not disruptive at all or little disruption, and 10 being very disruptive. * what might be needed to support the team forward, should a team member require to leave the conversation? * what is the impact on the team, and the individual, when he/she leaves the group conversation? * how might this look like back at the workplace during team discussions? Reply ZAMORA DAMIÃO MARIA DE LURDES March 24, 2019 at 2:31 pm | # I would make an intervention by starting with the following question: Participant Y left the group during the process, how would you like to deal with the situation? I would listen to the considerations of the participants and seek consensus on whether or not the participant left for coffee. Reply Min Ge August 4, 2019 at 5:32 am | # It depends on the situation at that time, if the participation on the spot is balanced, everyone is very active, and also there is coffee machine in the training room. I will remain silence. If the member will try to escape the discussion by using a coffee excuse, I would interrupt the discussion and ask the team members, “I observed that someone left to pour coffee. Did anyone else notice that?” “What’s the impact on our team?” And “What rules should we have next?” Reply Risky Harisa Haslan September 3, 2019 at 4:13 am | # Ideally, before the session started, I would discuss with the team if there was an existing norm that I need to be aware of. If getting coffee or food was part of the group norm, unless it greatly affected the team (such as team member was away for too long to get the coffee), I would not touch on the situation. However, if it had affected the session because they were gone for too long to get the coffee, I would first ask the team if they noticed anything happening. If they did not, I would rephrase my question to “I’ve noticed that someone got up to get coffee” and asked them how it would impact the team. I would then ask them what they wanted to do with the situation or the next time it happened (to establish a norm). If the team was new or did not have a prior norm of freely refilling coffee, I would follow similar step as well. Reply May Ling Siow October 29, 2019 at 11:09 pm | # I would take a few more minutes to observe the behavior of the particular participant. if the behavior persists, I would post this question ” When someone leaves the table in the middle of a discussion, what happens to the on-going discussion” If no one is in disagreement with participant leaving the table, I will continue to observe. If participant(s) is in disagreement I would ask the question “what should we do about it, moving forward?” Reply Leave a comment You must be logged in to post a comment.