Scenario: Long Problem Statement

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: You ask the problem presenter to briefly state the problem but the person continues on for an inordinate period of time not only stating the problem but also describing contextual details related to the problem.

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

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Comments (18)

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    William Teo

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    I will intervene by saying, “thank you PP”, immediately followed by, “who has the first question?”

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      Joop van Nierop

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      My approach will be. ‘Thank you PP’, we will discuss our methodology later on during our meeting. For now ‘who has the first question’.

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    Monika Kantowicz-Gdanska

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    I would intervene saying: “I observe there are a lot of contextual details being shared about the problem. For this phase of the meeting we need a brief description – so can you summarize the problem in one sentence and we will continue with the questions from the group, to help you better define it?” At first I thought of these kind of intervention: “I can observe there are a lot of contextual details being shared about the problem. Do we need so much information to start asking the questions?”. After a while I think that at this moment of the session the first proposition of intervention would be better. I would be pleased to receive a suggestion which intervention would be better 😉

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    Angeline Yong

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    I would intervene by saying, “Thank you (PP) for the detailed description. Please help us understand better by summarising your problem statement in one sentence.”

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    Anneke Broekroelofs

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    After explaining the AL rules, identifying the leadership skills and stating the time left to work on the problem I would ask the problem presenter to please take a maximum of 2 minutes to tell us the problem of task that he/she would like the group to help him/her with. After 1.5 minutes I would tell the PP there are 30 seconds left. After the 2 minutes I would intervene by thanking him/her and asking the group who has the first question.

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    Naveen Chopra

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    I would intervene : “I observe a lot of details are being covered about the problem.
    For now we need a brief description – so PP, would you be kind enough to please summarize the problem in next minute or so and leave the details for discussions by the group during our session?”

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    ROBERTO ROTENBERG

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    I would still ask: “How could you state your problem in a short and concise sentence?” In case she/he continued with long descriptions, I would thank her/him and ask “Who has the first question?” The group would conduct in its own way to deal with this.

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    Alessandra Denis

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    I interrupt the presenter, reinforcing that all this is very important, now I ask you to formulate the problem in one sentence, which we will then have the opportunity to explore further.

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    Philippe Rion

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    It often happens that way. After 3 minutes, I interrupt the presenter to avoid wasting time and repeating this contextual information during the clarification phase. I thank him and ask him to conclude with a question!

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    Yanbo Hu

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    I’ll ask PP… Let’s pause, and now the requirement is to give the team a minute to describe the problem you want to solve today. What do you want to say?

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    Elisabetta Galli

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    At the opening of the session, when the coach review the basic rules of AL, the roles, etc… one of the key instruction is that the PP will have 2-3 minutes to state the problem. If I observe that the PP is forgetting this instruction and gets stuck to a very long preamble, for instance, I will simply intervene, gently referring to the fact he/she has already consumed 80% of the time for the problem presentation.

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    Kristi Alcouffe

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    I would say…”(Problem Presenter), I I understand that the subject motivates you and that you are eager to share with the group. Nevertheless, could you try to close in 1 or 2 sentences so that the group can start to help you?”

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    Celine Sugay

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    When the P.P. is nearing the 3-minute mark to present the problem, I will remind the P.P. to wrap-up his sharing. I will also ask the P.P. to summarize his problem in 1 statement. Upon doing so, I will thank the P.P. and ask the group “who has the first question?”.

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    Doreen Wei

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    I would ask PP, “Now in 2-3 sentences, what is the challenge you want the team to help you today?”
    After PP, I would say to the team, “Please start asking questions.”

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    Nidhipon Tritiptawin

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    At the beginning of every session, after informing or repeating the ground rules, I normally remind PP how much time he/she has to tell the team about his/her problem. In this case, if the PP starts to keep stating for too long, as a coach, I will have to intervene by saying, “PP, could you please summarize your problem in 1-2 sentences and what do you want the team to help you today?

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    Vo Huu Loc

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    As an action learning coach, I’ll intervene.

    I will say: “Thank you (PP) for the detailed sharing. So can you summarize the problem in one sentence?”
    And after the sentence sharing by PP, I will continue with: “Who has the first question?”

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    Benjamin Solomon

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    I would say, “X, could you kindly be as brief, concise, and neutral as possible when presenting your problem so that all the team members here can begin to help you.”

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    Marina Moreno

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    I would make the following intervention to PP: “Thank you for the detailed sharing. Now, could you, please, summarize the problem in one sentence?”
    Than: “Who has the first question?”

    Reply

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