Scenario: Location Location

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The seats have shifted such that the problem presenter is on one side of the table and the other team members are on the other side.

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

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Comments (8)

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    Nabih Jabr

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    Ask the group: why do you think that the seats have shifted in this way?

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    Neraida Polanco Lourens

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    In an Action Learning session, the set up should be in a circle without tables. This is to create and ensure equality among team members, to promote participation of everybody, allow eye contact and thus enhance safety in the team. Above mentioned situation should be prevented at all costs and the ALC should resolve this before initiating the session.

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    KW LOK

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    I would ask the team if they are aware the seats have shifted? Follow by the question on the impact of the sitting arrangement on the group dynamics and if the group like to improve the situation.

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    Marina Nizar

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    I would start with a broad question if anyone has noticed any changes to the situation in the room.

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    Agnieszka Olczak

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    I would ask the group how they feel with this arrangement of furniture (tables, chairs). Then I would ask if they want to change anything? How do they think it will affect their workflow? I would also ask the problem presenter how he feels in this situation, whether he needs a change to increase the comfort of work?

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    Cora Hageman

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    I would have thought about the setup beforehand. Preferably in a circle without a table in between. If it does occur, I will discuss this with the group as an intervention.

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    José van Heusden

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    In action learning, the set-up is very important. So I would suggest sitting in a circle that is evenly distributed. Without a table in between is my preference. So that all team members are equally present in the circle and the participants are well distributed. Positioning opposite each other can be an obstacle to the dynamics in the team.

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    Magdalena Stefanska

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    I believe that preparation to the Action Learning session covers not only formation of the team and introduction to the content but also the set up in the room. Cleaned, aired room with opened drapes in the window create a cozy place. Table setting shall also ensure convenient contact between the participants. If the tables were shifted during a break it is good to ask the participants what was the reason behind that, what is an added value of a new setting. Problem presenter shall have the possibility to express his/her opinion too. If that is fine for both sides and they feel comfortable then the session can be continued and the new setting briefly discussed during the evaluation of the team work (with one simple question – how the new setting support the discussion?). However, if this setting does not work well for the team, it shall be changed to the more convenient and comfortable one.

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