Scenario: Consensus

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team is having trouble coming to consensus.

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

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Comments (8)

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    Emmanuel Ossom

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    As a coach, i would ask the team: “What would help us get to consensus”? This would be followed by asking them who has the nest question? This will lead to the team members asking themselves series of further questions or asking questions they might have asked already in refined ways. This would mean the coach repeating the coaching session with the team until such a time that consensus is reached. The team couldn’t reach a consensus because they probably asked the wrong questions , or some of them actually got the real problem at hand while others didn’t. The first question as to how the team can reach consensus is very important. The team in response to this questions would even ask themselves more right questions that would lead to more insight into the real problem and better understanding of it through refinement of what they already saw the real problem to be in order to create harmony but also synergy among their initial varying views of what the real problem is. Without reaching consensus the real problem wouldn’t be identified let alone to be solved. Reaching consensus requires patience and although it could be time-consuming, it is the surest way to generate the best ingredients that must define the real problem from any problem statement presented. Moreover, reaching consensus requires that team members give equal respect to the views of everyone, everyone must be allowed to speak his/her mind, and no team member should be domineering so that the real problem shouldn’t be seen as an imposition be one or few people even if it is actually the real problem. Once there is consensus, the team would be motivated to take action on the solution and there could be assurance that the right action will be taken for the right solution. Consensus on the real problem mean an individual sense of ownership of the real problem and this will invariably stir up great commitment towards taking action on it.

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    Pascale Brady

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    I assume this means having trouble coming to consensus on the problem – either way, I believe that the best way to handle this is to keep stopping the conversation and asking:
    “How do we feel we are doing on agreeing on the problem on a scale of 0-10?”
    Then go around the table and ask each person to give a number.
    Then ask them to write down the problem. Then ask each person to read the problem. Then going around the room again and ask
    “do we agree on the problem? Yes or no?”

    Depending on which round of this we are on of doing this, we can follow this up with
    “what are we doing well as a group?”
    “what could we do better?”

    Then “who has the next question?”

    If there have been many rounds of this same iteration and the team still is not getting to consensus, one could start asking more specific questions about that:
    “what could the team do to reach consensus on the problem?

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    Michal Weyna

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    If this scenario happens during a check-in, after the problem statements are read out loud, I would ask the team: what would help us reach a consensus?

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    Simone Gutwilen

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    At the time of the intervention I would ask: do we have consensus about the problem, yes or no? And ask to each participant to write with their own words what they believe is the real problem that we are helping to resolve today. Then I would ask to each participant: Do we have consensus, yes, no or enough? If the answer is no and we have time, I would ask: What would help us get consensus? Who has the next question?. If we have no time, I would ask: Which part of the problem do we have consensus?

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    Ana Motta

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    In the stage where the action learning coach makes the intervention and asks if everyone has a consensus on the problem, then he asks each one to write in his own words what he believes is the real problem we are helping the narrator solve today, and after everyone says “We have a consensus, yes, no or enough” and have at least one participant who says he does not have a consensus, if he has the time it is important to ask the participants: “What would help us to get “The Action Learning Coach then repeats the questioning process:” We have a consensus on what we are going to do with the Action Learning Coach. problem ?, yes or no? “And then ask to write in their own words what is believed to be the real problem we are helping the narrator to solve today, repeat the process everyone talks about “We have consensus, yes, no or enough.”
    If there is still no consensus ask the participants what part of the problem they have consensus and write on the flipchart. We believe that by working with action learning in a part of the problem that there is consensus, the group will already put it into motion.

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    fatima dias

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    -As a AL Coach, if we have time, I would ask :
    – What would help us to get consensus?
    If we don’t have time enougth, I would ask:
    – Which part of the problem do we have consensus?

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    Renata Gripp

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    If we have already explored the consensus phases and they have difficulty finding even a common part of the problem, I would use a technique that I really like that is the writing of an “aquarium” phrase in which a participant writes his phrase in the board and the other participants create over the written phrase (complementing or replacing words) until everyone has contributed the message of that text. It is a collaborative and consensual way of arriving at a concept result.

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    Ana Carolina Ferreira

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    After around 10 minutes I would proceed the standard questions about the team and would announce that we reached the “Consensus fase”. I would do the regular intervention asking if we have consensus or not? Participants should write down “What do you think is the real problem we can help ____ to solve ?” after standard procedure, If there is no consensus, and we have time to more exploration, I would ask “What shall you do to help to get a consensus ?” After, “Who has the next question?” After some more minutes of exploration, we ask participants to write down the problem again. If there’s no consensus again, I would ask “In which part of the problem we can get to a Consensus? If there’s no consensus yet, the problem giver has the final decision, about the part os the problem they get consensus.

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