Scenario: Left out

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: A participant offers to collect information/agreements on a white board. All members are in agreement with this. After a short while the scribe is no longer being included in the conversation.

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

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Comments (10)

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    Jeremy Gwee

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    As a coach, we must be on the lookout for such situations. All participants should be given the opportunity and encouraged to participate. including the participant collecting the information on the board. There are several ways of dealing with such situations. First, if it is just several points then as a coach, I would intervene and ask the scribe what he or she thinks about the comments he or she has written down. Second, the scribe will ask the scribe what additional points that he or she can add. Third, if the session is more than five minutes then after 5 minutes change the scribe. Fourth, whoever is the scribe must give the first point and summarise at the end. Which of these I would use would depend on the complexity of the inputs being asked and the level of participation in the group,

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    Mon Wong

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    As a coach, I will observe if the scribe still has lively and engaged body language. If yes, I will intervene by asking the members to rate their own participation from 1-10, 1 being not answering or asking questions and 10 being asking and answering a lot of questions. It is possible the scribe still feels he is able to contribute and participate by listening and jotting down notes. If the participation rate is mixed or not consistently near 9 or 10, I will still intervene by asking what the impact of that is on the team and then ask how the team would like to move forward.

    If body language suggests the scribe already feels demotivated or isolated, I will intervene and reflect back to the team that “I noticed that the discussion is lively, but not everyone in the group is currently able to ask or answer questions.” Then I will confirm if the team notices that as well. I will follow up with, “What would be the impact of that on the team if we continue on this way?” Then after a round of reflections, I will close the intervention by asking, “Ok, so how would we like to improve?” Or if someone identifies Mr. Scribe as being the only one being left out, I could also ask, “How would the team like to support [Mr. Scribe]?”

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    Ulla Willner

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    If I would observe whether the scribe would seem uncomfortable and the process be negatively impacted, If I would get that impression, I would intervene quickly and ask the group for their feedback on participation levels and how theyfelt that this action was affecting the problem solving. Otherwise, if the scribe seemed fine and engaged and the non-inclusion merely brief, I would wait a little longer before intervening at bringing up it as an example for the group, i.e ”how did you feel it affected the process/participation levels that xxx was asked to take note?”, ”How well did we do on ensuring everybody was included?”

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    katia soares natalicchio

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    I would intervene as follows: I am observing that there is only one person in the group in the record of the information on the whiteboard. How does the group feel about this? Is there any other form of contribution that the colleague could make besides his role in the newsroom? How can we ensure that everyone in the group can participate in the discussions? ”

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    Ronaldo Paulo Villamarzo

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    I would probably observe the dynamics of the team as it relates to the scribe. Have they just forgotten about him or are there signs that they are deliberately excluding him from the conversation? If they have forgotten about him, in a very light tone, I will point out that having one team member dedicated to writing on the white board may have deprived us of one team member’s point of view. I will ask the team how this might impact the discussion and ask them what they think should be done about it. However, if I get the sense that they are deliberately ignoring him, I might use a more formal tone of voice. I will still use the SID format, and ask them how the group might want to benefit from the point of view that he might bring to the table?

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    YUE TAN

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    I would say: “I observed that A has been busy in helping everyone to record the comments and views while has no chance to express his own. Do we need to give him a chance to express it?” Let the team learn to observe the involvement of the discussion.

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    YUE TAN

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    YUE TAN: I would say: “I observed that A has been busy in helping everyone to record the comments and views while has no chance to express his own. Do we need to give him a chance to express it?” Let the team learn to observe the involvement of the discussion.

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    Jeremy Gwee

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    In this situation I should inytervene and say “I notice that xxx is not involved in this conversation, what is happening? This is to draw their attention to the situation. Then I would ask “What would happen to the team if we continued?” This is to cause them to think about how they cand do better. Then to ask the obvious, “What can we do to improve?

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    Bernard van Gils

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    Het probleem dat besproken wordt is een gezamenlijk probleem. Ook het zoeken naar de oplossing is een gezamenlijke weg. Wanneer er gekozen wordt voor een werkwijze waarbij één deelnemer aantekeningen maakt op een whiteboard kan dat handig zijn voor de groep. Op het moment dat die aantekeningen niet meer gemaakt worden, kun je je afvragen waarom dat gebeurt. Is dat omdat er geen goede input komt, of zijn de deelnemers (en dus ook de persoon die de aantekeningen maakt) zo nauw betrokken in het gesprek dat ze vergeten om aantekeningen te maken. Als niemand er iets van zegt, zal het ook niemand storen. Iedereen is immers volwaardig eigenaar van het probleem en de zoektocht naar de oplossing. Omdat de groep eigenaar van het proces is en ik alleen intervenieer op momenten dat er een leermoment is, ga ik niet ingrijpen. Ik zou het leermoment om inhoudelijk stevig te discussiëren en op te gaan in de diepte van het probleem, namelijk verstoren. Bij het (tussentijds) evaluatiemoment zou ik de groep wel wijzen op het gegeven dat er op een bepaald moment geen aantekeningen meer werden gemaakt. Ik zou hen vragen of het hen ook opgevallen is. Tevens zou ik de vraag stellen waarom niemand daar iets van zei.

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    Antonella Mediati

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    I would intervene and ask “How are we doing with equal participation on the team?” “Why is it important that all participants are included in the process?” “What can we do going forward to be better with team member inclusion?

    Hopefully, these questions will make it obvious that the scribe was unintentionally left out. If not, I would perhaps say “I noticed that our generous scribe is no longer part of the discussion. Did anyone else notice that?” “What will be the impact on our results if we continue without equal participation?” “How can we move forward with our session in a more inclusive manner?” I would be careful to be respectful of the scribe and not make him/her feel embarrassed or put on the spot (as this could cause a threat reaction).

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