Scenario: Distrusting Culture

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: A year earlier the organization was a acquired by another company. All fun activities were cut from the budget (picnics, team outings, etc.) and were replaced with ridged procedures. This team is tasked with making the workplace fun again. The top HR person on the team is convinced it will never happen and says so with every idea.

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

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Comments (10)

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    Rifki Feriandi

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    As an action learning coach, I see that in this situation, the right of leadership skills chosen by the member is important. And this is the right time for the team to get learning of their leadership skills. Therefore I would ask or challange the team to pick a leadership skills that really important to bring a solution of this problem. The leadership skills such as creativity (or creative thinking), open to change, reframing, critical thinking and deaing with paradox are the skills I expect team members will pick. Necesssarily when there is an opportunity to intervene, I would remind the team to practise their leadership skills when they ask questions. I would also offer the team a 20-30 seconds of break to reflect on how their performance on practising their leadership skills and how they want to improve.

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    Lee Kwan Meng

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    As an Action Learning coach, I see this as an organisational culture issue where the leadership and management plays a role. In intervening, I will ask the team and the HR to reflect on organisation’s goal and whether such procedures is right in fostering staff motivation and their productivity. This issue for learning here is that in many management theories such as Maslow, Herzberg, etc., staff productivity is enhanced when they are happy and motivated to work in the organisation. So it is up to the team and HR to reflect back on these human motivational theories and whether the current policy and procedures of restricting fun activities in the organisation can enhance the morale of staff to improve on their productivity that the organisation needs.

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    Rogier ten Kate

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    This is a challenging one as we are dealing with a group member that is not contributing to the process in an effective and positive manner. I would try to intervene if it happens too many times and ask the group how it makes them feel when ideas are not being taken serious? What does it do with the group and their contribution?
    During the Intervention I would also ask a specific question about: How can we be more creative and focus on solving the problem?

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    Janaina Gameiro Arbucias

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    I would ask the team the following questions:
    1. How are ideas being perceived?
    2. What is the behavior the team is looking for in terms of managing ideas here?
    3. How do we want this behavior to be implemented/displayed?
    Or I would ask the HR person: “what are your suggestions?”

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    Naraiana Lessa

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    Since the top HR person is as part of the group as the other members, I would understand the moment of the session. In case it were an exploratory moment of the problem, I would ask the group if the questions made were helping explore the issue. In case it were the moment to define the actions to be taken, I would ask the group what other questions could be made to help the owner of the problem define such actions.

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    Noppawan Phosopsawat

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    I would intervene:
    – I notice that we don’ t have further discussion on ideas presented.
    – What do you think if we do not explore more of each?
    – What would happen at the end of our session?
    – What would do to make the session more efficient and we get the result ?

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    govind singhal

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    I will pause the session.

    In case the HR person in the team is the problem presenter then I will have a private conversation with the member. I will request him/her to respond to the questions without additional comments and record the action item.

    Else if the HR person in the team is one of the members to contribute to the solution, I will remind him/her of the ground rule to make a statement only in response to a question.

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    Maja Klonowska

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    As an AL coach:
    – Every time the HR person comment was not in response to a question, I would remind her/him to speak only in response to questions. Also, I would ask her/him to change her/his statement into a question that can move the group forward.
    – After a few comments like “it will never happen”, I would stop the group and ask them question like: How do you assess our work? And then I would ask a few more questions to find their perspective (as a group): What (in our behaviors) is helping us to find solutions? -> What is making it harder? -> How does it influence the group? -> How do we want to deal with it?
    – If I saw a similar approach within a whole group or the previous interventions didn’t change the HR person’s approach I would present to them the CIA model (Control-Influence-Accept) and I would ask them questions like: In which area are we now? -> How can we move into the area of our control?

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    Makie Wing Yi Ho

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    I will state the fact and ask the top HR person to elaborate more on what he meant. If HR person said he does not trust the management will implement the ideas that the team has put up, then I will ask other team members on their thought and ask them what would be the impact and How they would handle this issue as a team.

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    Toan Than

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    I will intervene with questions:
    – How are ideas being perceived?
    – Which action we should do to help team achieve the goal of our task

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