Scenario: Electronics

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team decides it ‘s okay to use their electronics during a session

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

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Comments (9)

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    Jeremy Gwee

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    By electronics, I assume that it refers to mobile phones and PCs. It is not for the team to decide on this. Action learning is about working as a team to solve a problem within a designated time. As such, every team member must focus on the questions asked. The team must demonstrate that this would not distract them from the process and be effective. No one is allowed to drive and text. So likewise no one can guarantee they would not be distracted. If the team insists that it is because of work, then I would tell them that I would postpone the situation until there is a time when such electronics are not required.

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    Yulia Saksen

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    I will post a question asking what might happen to the class if the team decides it‘s okay to use their electronics during a session. And whenever possible, I will double-loop it by asking what makes them think so. And of course end it with how should we do from there on.

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    Monika Wawoczny

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    As an AL Coach, I assume that the group sets its own rules (except for 2 basic ones). If they give themselves permission to use electronics during the session … it’s ok for me. If (at some point) I see that it is disturbing the group at work – I could carry out information and say something like: “Let’s stop for a moment. I see / hear that …. How are you currently working? What can we do (as a group) differently? ” I would let the group decide for itself.

    Regards Monika

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    Beata Pluta

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    I accept because it is the team that sets all the rules except the two main principles of Action Learning. If during the session I notice that answering the phone interrupts work, I will ask during the intervention how they feel with this rule and whether they want to make any change to the rules, if they find that using the phones during the session does not bother them, I will leave it.

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    Carmem Rocha

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    What does the group waive in this process of learning by action when deciding to use electronics during the session? What does the group gain by making that decision?

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    Jouw Wijnsma

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    There are only two ground rules, the rest is up for the group to decide. Because they know best what works for them. Considering that I would therefore not intervene.

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    Alessandra Denis

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    In this case, I would ask a question that would make the group reflect on the impacts: What could be the impact on the group if we all remain fully engaged in honoring this rule of turning off the electronics?

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    Jiajing LE

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    I accept the team’s decision and trust the team to make the right decision.If someone is using an electronic device during a discussion,I would ask everyone: I noticed that *** was using electronic devices during the discussion. Did anyone notice? How do you feel now? How does this affect the focus of the discussion? What can be done to reduce these effects? To inspire the team to realize the impact of this rule on the team’s work. It is up to the team to decide whether to modify this rule or make other rules to limit it to ensure that the team works effectively.

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    Joop van Nierop

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    My opinion as a coach about the use of devices during an Action Learning meeting is very clear. You can’t properly participate in a group process and ask specific questions while looking at a device for information or a message. This is also my experience with students in higher professional education. It’s the same as driving at 75 miles per hour on a busy highway while looking at your smartphone at the same time. I think concentration within a team is a precondition for focusing on an urgent and complex problem.

    But then my task is also to convince the team of what I think is necessary to bring out the power of the Action Learning method. That is why I ask the group who is distracted by social media on the smartphone while driving in heavy traffic. If the majority of the responses are negative, I ask the group which they choose in this case. Do you want to focus on their device during the session or opt for maximum focus to help the Problem Presenter solve an urgent and complex problem? If the team agrees with my vision, I will ask PP to start.

    If the team still wants to use devices during the session, this time I agree with starting our session. Afterwards I will search for scientific articles about multitasking and its influence on focus and concentration for a final point of view.

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