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THE WORLD INSTITUTE FOR ACTION LEARNING-USA (WIAL-USA)

is a non-profit organization dedicated to the growth and advancement of Action Learning in business and government. Simply put, WIAL-USA solves problems, cultivates productive teams, and builds leaders in real time. As organizations face new and increasing pressures, Action Learning is more relevant than ever as an effective solution for solving complex problems and building strong working teams.

Specifically, action learning is remarkable in its ability to:

  • solve problems and challenges with breakthrough and sustaining strategies,
  • develop the leadership skills and qualities needed by twenty-first-century managers,
  • develop teams that continuously improve their capability to form and adapt, and
  • capture, transfer, and apply valuable knowledge at the individual, group, organizational, and community levels.

Additionally, WIAL-USA promotes Action Learning through forums, certification workshops, professional coaching, research, thought leadership, publications and other initiatives.

 

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 Coach, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk

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Comments (22)

  • Avatar

    Cynthia Kitagawa

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    I would lean in to intervene and ask the problem presenter “Please focus on the problem you want help with and state it concisely. This will allow the team to help clarify the problem through the Action Learning process of asking and responding to insightful questions.” I would do this in a polite, yet direct, manner so the problem presenter can feel comfortable presenting the problem a second time. If I think the problem as presented was enough to get the team started, I would lean in and say “Let’s allow the team to ask questions to learn more about the problem. Who has the first question?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Silvia QR

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    I would just lean in and ask “How can you share in one phrase what you want the team to help you with?”

    If the behaviour persists, then an awareness intervention:

    “Team, what is happening here?”
    “What is the impact on the curiosity of the team?” “Is there any other impact?”
    “how do you want to proceed with the rest of the session to allow curiosity (and whatever they mention, like time)?” (this to save face for the PP and acknowledge it can happen at any point in the session)
    “How can you share in one phrase what you want the team to help you with?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ben Sparkman

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    As the ALC, once I notice the problem presenter is “going overtime”, I would intervene and say, “Thank you, ………., for presenting your problem statement. Now, can you please summarize your problem for today in 2-3 sentences?”
    After the problem presenter summarizes, I would say, “Thank you”, and then I would ask, “Who has the first question?” and then “lean out”.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Barry Rush

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    I would intervene. “It would help the group if you could stop at this point and summarize in two sentences the problem and let’s have someone write it on the flip chart.” Thanks! That really is helpful! “Now who has the first question?”

    Reply

  • Dr Bea

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    I would say – Thank you. Now in 1 sentence -what is the challenge you would like help with today.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Changguang Zou

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    I would intervene immediately, “Thanks, but what we need at the beginning is a concise description of the problem , so please summarize it in 2-3 sentences .”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Darren Tan

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    I would pre-amble by asking the problem presenter at the start, “In 3 minutes, can you describe the challenge you would like the team to help you with.” At the end of the 3 minutes, I would say, “Thank you. Can you summarise this in 2 sentences?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sean Reddell

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    Using my body language as a cue that I wanted to speak I would politely as the PP to rephrase what they are trying to say in 1 or 2 minutes.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sungyeon Cho

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    After the PP’s long problem statement, I would intervene and ask the team excluding the PP “Could you please share in one sentence what you understand the problem presented? ” After listening to a couple of answers, I would ask the PP again “How can you share in one sentence what you want the team to help you with today?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Wu Yanmei

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    I would intervene and ask the problem presenter “Could you describe the real problem you want us to work on in 1 or 2 sentences?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    guangwei zhou

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    I will intervene and ask the problem presenter “Would you like to state the real problem that you want us to work on in 1-2 sentences?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Thitiwan Sinthunok

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    After the pp’s long problem statement , I will “lean in” to intervene and say “thank you” pp. for presenting his/her problem statement. Ask he/she for summarize his/her problem in 2-3 sentence, and what he/she want team to help in this session?
    After pp. summarize. I will say “thank you” and ask team for the first question, then later “lean out”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Japheth Lim

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    I would lean in to intervene and say thank you pp for presenting your problem. Could your summarize your problem in 2 to 3 sentences?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Leo lee

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    I would lean in to intervene and ask the problem presenter”Thank you.Could you summarize your problem in one sentence and write it on the flip chart?””“Now who has the first question?”” c

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Lois Parkes

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    I would ask the problem presenter whether they could re-state the problem in a single sentence or 2. In my experience, the problem presenter when they are first the problem usually feel the need to provide the requisite background to the problem. Asking the problem presenter to re-state or summarise the problem in a sentence or 2 helps to identify and clarify the problem for the group

    Reply

  • Avatar

    liang jie chen

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    I would intervene and say to the problem presenter ” Thank you ! Can you share in one phrase what you want the team to help you with? “

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Patrick Peters, MBA

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    Answer:
    As an ALC I’d intervene after 3 minutes and say thank you “problem presenter” for presenting your problem. Could you summarize your problem in 2 to 3 sentences so the team knows what the challenge is they could help you with today?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Dee Dee Rush

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    I would lean in and say, “Sounds like you are very passionate about this problem. Can you state the problem in 1-2 sentences?” Then “Who would like to ask the first question?” When I had this problem before I realized the problem presenter had a difficult time presenting verbally but on paper was very concise. I asked him to read it word for word from the paper where he had written it.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Desdra Bascombe

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    I would intervene and ask the problem presenter to summarize the problem in a few words then ask each member of the group what whey think the problem is

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Gloria Alice Lobato Rodrigues

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    As an Action Learning Coach realizing that the presenter is long-winded I would make an intervention immediately. I would tilt my body forward to signal the group that I would make an intervention and say: Thank you! This is all very interesting. Now in a sentence summarize: What would be your problem? After the presenter of the problem summed it up, I’d say, “Thank you!”, And then I’d ask, “Who has the first question?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    SAGOONSRI JINAPUNMONGKOL

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    I just waited for the right timing and stop that person. By saying what’s your question or ask PP do you understand the question ?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      SAGOONSRI JINAPUNMONGKOL

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      I just waited for the right timing and stop the problem presenter. Please help summarize the problem and ask team member to ensure everyone understand the statements.

      Reply

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