Scenario: Conflicting Priorities

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: Part way through the session, one of the members mentioned a meeting they have that will require them to leave early. Several other participants mention they need to go to the same meeting, leaving only 2 participants for the session.

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

Trackback from your site.

Comments (7)

  • Avatar

    Jessica Low

    |

    As an action learning coach, I would intervene it based on below:

    I noticed some of the participants need to leave early to attend a meeting and as earlier mentioned, “the action learning session will last xxx minutes, what is happening?” The participants may response saying they have forgotten to mention it earlier when we start.

    The follow up question would be “What is the impact for participants to leave part way through the session?” Allowing participants to reflect and let them think on how it would impact the Action Learning session, having only left with 2 participants while they were aware the session will clash with the intended meeting.

    Another follow question could also be “What will happen to the team if we continue with only 2 members left in the session?” The would help to refresh their memories Action Learning session requires between 4 – 8 members to be impactful, a working team would involve everyone to participate and not leaving part way through a session, what the intent would not be able to achieve when there is insufficient people in the session, and communication is the key so that if the session needs to be shorten, everyone is agreeable and aware of it from the beginning.

    Last question to ask would be “How do we prevent this from happening again?” This is where as a coach, I allow the team to decide on how they would communicate among the team if the same situation happens again, understand the respect of each other’s time and effort for making the time, be committed here and there.

    Before we end, as a coach I’ll ask the team “What would they like to do as some members would need to leave for the meeting?” As some of them would have to leave for the meeting, this would be used for the team to decide on follow up actions that may have been spoken about during the session, or decide on the next session (time & date) – immediately after the meeting or 1 or 2 days later and then re-convene.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ivy Sun

    |

    I would ask those two participants who needn’t attend the meeting: “What do you think and feel about the situation?” After they expressing their ideas, I will speak to the whole group: “Since most of the members need to leave earlier, we have shorter time for this session. As a team, what can we do to achieve the same output as the normal session has or at least minimize the impact?” When the team members have given the suggestion, I will continue to ask: “Undoubtedly there would be unexpected thing happened to affect our projects. But we have 8 members in the team. It is not easy to schedule the session time. Is there anything we can do to prevent similar situation from happening again?” Let the team find out how to boost the progress of project when there is inference and how to avoid the inference as much as possible.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Charmaine McFarlane

    |

    In my role as the Coach, I would try to be proactive for my sessions and check in with the team to re-confirm everyone’s availability. In the instance that an impromptu meeting came up for one or more of the participants, or someone had not informed the group of their inability to stay for the entire session, I would ask if the remainder of the team were OK with moving forward with the session (if there were an adequate number of people left to proceed). I would also ask that the team let me know as much in advance of any schedule changes so that decisions can be made to spare people’s time. For this scenario, the team would not have enough participants to continue the session, so I would ask them how they would like to deal with the issue/hold their colleagues accountable.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Brigit Naude

    |

    Ask the group whether they’d be happy for these people to leave early. Get a response/agreement and then move on, “So who has the next question?” I wouldn’t waste valuable problem solving time any more than needed.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Min Zhao

    |

    I would ask, “What is happening? What is the impact on the team while many of you have other priorities? How can we hold each other accountable? How can we prevent this from happening again?” If most of them stay, we go on. If most of them have to leave, I would take time to get some feedback from the remaining two and see how I can improve as a coach. I would also remind the problem presenter to copy their managers when he or she sends out the meeting invitations.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Loc Do

    |

    As an Action Learning Coach, I will take it as an opportunity to remind the team about the importance of good arrangement, as well as help them to prevent this happen again.

    This is how I will intervene:

    1. Hello team, I heard that some members will leave early and at this time there will be 2 participants for the session, what will the impact of these absences to our teamwork?

    A. Scenario A: Every one consider no impact
    => Intervene to remind the team why they are here, and help them to define actions to reach the goals
    2. What are our team goals today?
    3. In case some members leave early and only 2 member remain, the session defenitely will stop at that time, which mean we only have … minutes left, what will you do to achieve the goals? (Remember to count the reflection part into it)
    4. Do you all agree on these action? (Check individually)
    5. Yes! Who have next question?
    => continue the process

    A1. The team make it in time
    6. Hello team, I see that we make it in time, how do you feel right now?
    7. What if we can arrange the schedule and have full process, how do you think the result will be? Will it be much better than this?
    8. What will we do to have better arrangement next time? (Listen and note)
    9. I heard that we will have some actions like …, do we have agreement on these actions?
    10. Yes! Thank you!

    A2. The team won’t make it in time
    6. Hello team, I see that we didn’t achieve the goals in time, what we will do better next time?
    7. I heard that we will have some actions like …, do we have agreement on these actions? (Check individually)
    8. Yes! Thank you!

    B. Scenario B: At least one member consider it has some impacts
    2. What will we do? => Let them decide the option, in case they try to proceed in remaining time, follow scenario A
    3. How will we prevent this from happening again? (Listen and take note)
    4. I heard that we will have some actions like …, do we have agreement on these actions? (Check individually)
    5. Who have next question?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Suerda Moraes

    |

    I would say that we will need XX minutes of learning and ask what the group would like to do with the remaining time until the time that will coincide with the meeting. I would also ask how the remaining 2 people would like to deal with this new information.

    Reply

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.