Scenario: Consensus

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team is having trouble coming to consensus.

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

Trackback from your site.

Comments (9)

  • Avatar

    Arlene McComie

    |

    As an Action Learning Coach, if the team is having trouble coming to consensus i will intervene by asking each member to take a minute to write down (in one sentence, not more than two sentences) what they understand the problem to be. I will then request each member to read their response. If a member attempts to explain, I will request the person to hold on the explanation until all members have shared. At the end of the sharing, I will take a poll to determine if there is consensus on the problem. I will then ask them to take two minutes to capture in a statement, their common understanding of the problem. As the coach I will check in with questions to the group, to ensure that consensus continues. Lack of consensus can have a serious impact of the questions asked and the possible solutions that will eventually emerge.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Mariusz Dłużak

    |

    I ask: “Do you think we have agreement as a group what is the real problem in this situation – yes or no?”
    When everyone answers, please ask the group: “Write down, in your own words, what you think is the heart of the problem we can solve today.”
    Next, please ask each participant to read only what they wrote: “Do we agree? Yes. No. We are close.”
    If the group answers “Yes” – we continue.
    If the group answers “We are not / we are close” I ask: “What would help us in reaching a common position regarding the problem?”
    Help questions:
    – “How would you reformulate this suggestion by XY to agree with her?”
    – “To connect / join it?”
    – “Are we already working on a shared vision?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Thomas Ernst

    |

    I would intervene and have the group write down what they believe the problem is, and have each read aloud. If they are close I would ask what else they would like to do in order to get to consensus on the problem and see what answer comes out. If they are not close I would also ask what would help the group get closer, and see what happens. I would repeat this process again at another check in, and perhaps ask if getting something on a flipchart may help in getting agreement

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Alberto

    |

    I would run the problem check once more, and when there is no consensus, I would ask “what are the implications of having no consensus on the problem? How can we get to consensus? What have we not tried to get to consensus on the problem? How can we help each other to achieve a common perception on the problem? What tool you know(especially in higly trained groups) have we not yet used to get to consensus? “

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Angela May

    |

    As the Action Learning Coach, I would ask the group if they think they have come to a consensus of the problem. If they do not agree, then have them write down in a sentence or two what they feel the problem is. Then have each group member read aloud what they feel the problem is. At the end of the sharing see if the group has come to a common theme or area of the problem. If there is a common theme , see if the team would like to continue with questions or see if there is consensus again with the problem statements.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Katherine Steele

    |

    The issue of consensus is commonly addressed through check ins and in a systematic way. By following the check in procedures we can address what we are doing well, what we can do better and if we have agreement on the problem or not. By having members write down in their own words what they believe the real problem is that they can help the problem presenter with you can determine if there is agreement through the yes,no, or close model. If yes or close tehn you can move towards actions, if no then you ask the team what would help them get to consensus and who has the next question. Trusting the process is important.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Melissa Cummings

    |

    I would remind the team that we have x time to help (A) come up with actions to take in response to her problem. I would ask if the group has reached consensus, and regardless of their response, I would have them each write down what they believe the real problem is. Each member would then read what they wrote down out loud. After reviewing all responses, I would ask again if the group has reached consensus. If the answer is still “no,” I would ask the group to really try and focus on what the problem presenter has control over right now and what he or she has influence over. I would provide feedback if some of the responses sound more like solutions than problems, and have them rephrase when necessary. If the group still hasn’t reached consensus, I would ask “How would the group like to proceed in reaching consensus?” If they suggest more questions, I would again remind them of the time constraints, but allow them to proceed. If they suggest something else, like working the problem out together on a white board or similar, I would allow them to proceed.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Alberto Zevi

    |

    I’d do the standard check-in and have the group write down what they believe the problem is to see if there is the consensus.
    If there is no consensus I’d ask: what would help us in reaching the consensus?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Jinghui Gao

    |

    I will ask the team, “do you think we have reached a consensus on the understanding of the problem? If we score on the understanding and agreement of the problem, 1 to 10 points, 10 points means to reach a consensus completely, 1 point on the contrary, how many points will we get? What will be the impact if it continues like this? What should we do? What’s your decision? “

    Reply

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.