Scenario: Missing Participants

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team you are coaching is working on a critical corporate problem in a leadership development program. The leadership program and work on the project is scheduled to be completed over six months. Two of the eight people in the group do not show up routinely.

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

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Comments (20)

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    Paulina Gucka

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    I would take 2 actions: first, I would contact 2 persons not showing up and ask about reasons and needs, I would agree with them what solutions they see in the situation that occurs. If they decide to come back but they have certain needs that have to be satisfied I would encourage to come to the team meeting and discuss the needs within the team, so the whole team has a chance to agree how they will proceed. If 2 persons decide not to come back to the group, I would encourage them to come to team last time and announce their decision to the team. I would encourage them as well to announce their decision to the Sponsor as well.

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    Anni Townend

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    As an action learning coach I would have noted this happening, and would be keen to raise this with the team the first time it happened by stating ‘X and X are absent today. What will the impact of them being absent be on our work today? and ask ‘How can we overcome this? What will we do to help them catch up for our next working together?’

    Having raised this at the outset, as part of setting the tone in my role as action learning coach, of noticing and of being in service to the team, and their working together as a team this would – I hope – help with my raising their absence the next time.

    I would repeat the process, saying, X and X are absent. What is the impact on our work today? And How can we overcome this? (I would avoid saying ‘absent Again’ as would not to imply a judgement, rather simply to make the statement based on observation.)

    I imagine that the team may feel frustrated, annoyed by the two people ‘routinely’ not showing up and would want to give space for the team to express how they feel, and for the team to ask open questions of each other as well as to respond with statements, and for the open questioning to include – if not from them, from me – ‘How can we best overcome our frustration, annoyance, irritation?’ and only then ask ‘How will we help them catch up for the next session?’ Here I can imagine that people may be disinclined to catch the people up.

    It maybe that they are not being supported to attend the sessions, and I would hope that a member or members of the team would on behalf of the team agree to check in with the two people, bring them up to speed, and too gauge their future participation.

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    Luke Tanner

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    I would ask the team and let them decide on a norm. What do thay want to do with missing participants? If they agree to let them miss as needed and the team or an individual will fill them in later that’s up to them. If they agree to replace them with others who can commit the time needed to solve the problem I say it’s up to them.

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    Bert van Veldhuizen

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    Scenario: Missing Participants
    As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team you are coaching is working on a critical corporate problem in a leadership development program. The leadership program and work on the project is scheduled to be completed over six months. Two of the eight people in the group do not show up routinely.

    Whether this is a problem is a question that only the group can answer. I would therefore ask the group what the impact is for them, this can be both positive and negative. Then I would ask whether this opinion was already the case at the start of the team or has something changed. If so what? If the team decides that the people should be there, then it is a team problem, I will encourage the team to tackle the problem together and solve it. If it is not a problem, then the question is what has changed and what the role of the absentees should have been and how this should be dealt with. The team can then look for replacement members in consultation with the client. The members themselves should be involved in this process as much as possible. I would therefore try to deal with this immediately after the first absence and not after only x times.

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    Chanchira Phetburi

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    I will lell the rest of the team member the fact what the current situation is and ask them “What are the impact of missing participates for team level and corperate level?”. I will allow them to list all the impact both positive and negative and let the rest of that team what they decide to do for the session?”. fo the positive or negative impact that they list out and also the decision that they will make or any action that they will take, I will give 100% to the team to decide and take action for the session.

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    Renata Livramento Mendes

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    As an Action Learning Coach I would ask the group questions and let the group resolve the issue. My role would be to help the group to become aware of the fact and their learning from this situation. I would ask questions about the fact (already the first time they were missing), for example: I noticed that X and Y are not present, did anyone else notice this? How does their absence impact our work today? What would the group like to do about it?

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    Carla Cardoso

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    I would intervene by saying “Today 2 people was absent , What is the impact of this in the group”. After group’s answer I would ask also “How the group wants to deal with it.”

    The group is sovereig, have the answers. Through the Action Learning it’s possible develop leaders skills too.

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    Annop Niyomdecha

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    Conducting key projects together to develop organizational leadership. Cooperative work is very important. If a member does not join the process I will ask the team and give the team authority to decide what to do with the missing member. And if the team decides how I will respect the decision and keep the team working.

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    Charmaine McFarlane

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    Knowing that the team has been brought together to work on an important problem and to identify a solution/next steps, I would remind all of the importance of their dedication to the process and their attendance. If they are experiencing a schedule conflict, I would ask the group if we can identify a different day/time for the sessions, or if they could suggest alternate staff members to take their place. But ultimately, it would be a great opportunity to lead the group through a discussion/decision on how they would like to address the attendance issue and how to keep each other accountable.

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    Lia Cavellucci

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    As an Action Learning Coach, I would present the situation to the group and add:
    – We are all committed to solving a critical corporate problem and we have a deadline to do so. As we can see, two participants in this group have been absent in the last sessions.
    – What is the impact of these absences on solving the problem?
    – How will we deal with absences as a group?

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    Elmo Alforque

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    Scenario: Missing Participants

    As an AL coach, I will intervene and utilize the SID Intervention Model of Situation, Impact, Do, and let the team navigate the issue. It would be best if during the norm-setting at the beginning of the 1st session, this scenario has been identified and an agreement reached on the best way to move forward.

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    Prasad Natarajan

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    As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team you are coaching is working on a critical corporate problem in a leadership development program. The leadership program and work on the project is scheduled to be completed over six months. Two of the eight people in the group do not show up routinely.

    As an Action Learning Coach, in the first instance of their absence, I would have intervened and asked the team that I notice that two members have not joined the session today. What is the impact of that on the team to make progress on the challenge? What would the team like to do? And based on that if the team was confident that the progress can be made, I will proceed.

    And, even if the team was confident an I did proceed, I will speak to the sponsors after the session to let them know that 2 members have not participated in the session and what they would like to do about it?

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    Anne Bertoli

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    Considering that we have enough participants, I would ask the group what they would like to do – using an open question. Based on the answers, then I could facilitate the group to organize itself and intervene only if it felt that it was very important, with no judgements.

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    HUE NGUYEN THI NGOC

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    As an Action Coach, I will take the following two actions. First, I contact the two members that were often absent. I ask (a) their reasons (b) what would be the impact of their absence to the team performance (c) what support they want to continue with the team (d) their commitment from now on ward. Second, basing on the information from these participants, I would share to the team the situation, asking the team what their decision/solutions with the situation to go forward but still achieve the team goals

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    Rogier ten Kate

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    The problem is that the process can’t really move forward effectively. I would ask the group what they want to do? What norms and rules should be in place to prevent this from happening in the future? and what actions they would like to take towards the two missing participants?
    This way the group has a moment to discuss and evaluate the problem it might cause in their group solving process. depending on what the group decides to do we would take action towards the two members that are not showing up. And we would install some guidelines about how the group wants to deal with attendance and lack there off. In the end it should be a group decision on what to do. From a Action Learning leadership process I might have a discussion about leadership about how committed they are toward Action learning and making people realize the importance of participation and their contribution. Setting a priority that being and staying involved with Action learning session is essential.

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    Jacek Romanski

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    First I would ask participants who came if they knew anything about the absence the two who didn’t come . I suppose that they might have contact with each other and some relations beyond the session room. If they have some information I would decide what to do according the explanation. If they don’t have any information I would ask the group what they want to do in this situation. I would rather drive the group to decide by themselves. They might for example want to try to contact the absent participants or decide to start working without them. If the absent people come back, I would help them to join smoothly to the work of the team.

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    Annop Niyomdecha

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    “I noticed that two members did not join the process, why was that?” “What is the impact for this process if two members do not participate in the process?” “How should the team make decisions so that they can continue the process?”

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    Marta Siudak

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    I would start, as an Action Learning Coach, with noticing the fact of absence of those 2 people during the session asking the team ‘As we have today Person 1 and Person 2 absent, how would it impact our work today?’ I would also consider asking ‘Do we want to work without Person 1 and Person 2’ and let the team decide, as the project is critical that might cause some issues if 2 people not involved.

    It’s worth to consider also contacting Person 1 and Person 2 directly asking of the reasons of absence and on the decision of participation in next meetings. If they will decide not to participate I will encourage them to join next session and share the decision with the rest of the team. This would let the team make any further decisions and have clear situation.

    I would also ask Person 1 and Person 2 to announce their decision to Sponsor, as most probably, with the critical project, the replacement will be needed to replace missing team members, ensuring all necessary skills and knowledge to run the project.

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    Tom Palmer

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    As an Action Learning Coach, I would handle this situation by using the “alternative sequence”:

    1) I would check with something like, “I’ve noticed that [these people] are regularly absent from our sessions.

    2) I would then ask, “How do you think this is impacting the team?”

    3) After giving the team a chance to reflect and discuss, I would ask, “How do we want to handle this situation?”

    I think in most cases the team would be capable of coming up with an established norm around this issue.

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    Liane Lanzoni

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    I would help the group decide how to effectively use the session despite the regular absence of their two colleagues. I would also ask the group how to update and assist the absent members to re-integrate and know what the group did at the missed sessions.

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