Scenario: Non-responsive

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The members were enthusiastic to help the problem presenter. They asked many good questions. However, the problem presenter responded it’s confidential information and would not answer some of the questions. Members felt they were not able to help the problem presenter if their questions were not answered. Consequently, they could not see the value of action learning in this instance. But the problem presenter felt the session was useful to him in addressing his problem.

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

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Comments (8)

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    Thomas Ernst

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    Though the problem presenter felt the session was useful, it did nothing to create a team solution or team openness. I may have intervened and asked about team norms regarding discussion of confidential information and how the team would like to treat it. This could have given the presenter the opportunity to address the questions more directly and get team buy-in on possible solutions.

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    Savin Oeun

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    Ask team, where we are now? what is the impact? How could we do better?

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    Kathy Zou

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    I would ask the team where they are now? probably ask them to give a rating of what they did in past section if the session has run for a while. Provide sufficient space/time for the team to talk through their feelings, concerns and perspectives about this. Then ask team what consensus that they could reach in handing confidential information.

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    Mariusz Dłużak

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    I would ask the team questions:
    – “How can we maintain an enthusiastic attitude to help if we do not receive answers to some questions because this is confidential information?”
    – “How can we still ask a lot of good questions if we can’t get an answer because it’s confidential information?”
    – “Adoption of what group norms we need to work effectively when part of the information is confidential and will not be disclosed in the group forum?”
    – “What does team collaboration look like when a problem presenter says the session is useful – and the team feels they have been unable to help?”
    – “What is the level of satisfaction with the course of the session? How does it affect when the level of satisfaction with the course of the session is different in the group? What group principle / norm do we need to deal with this situation?”
    Plus a series of questions:
    – “Where are we now as a band?” ; “What are we doing well?” ; “What can we do more effectively?”

    If I had time I would also ask about concerns and feelings related to the above situation. And “what practices do we need to develop to effectively go through the process of reaching a consensus?”

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    Angela May

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    Even though the presenter felt helped, they team and presenter did not get to the core of the problem. Also there was not team chemistry or bonding with this type of situation. Therefore, as a coach when this situation arose; the coach could have asked the team how they felt about working with confidential information and what steps they would like to take to pursue with this situation. Maybe develop some group/ team norms where it concerns confidential information and how we perceive with the scenario so that they could get to the actual problem. Also it would help with by in to the team process.

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    Yannie Hua

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    I would intervene by asking questions as follows:
    1. If PP can not offer confidential information to us, what can we do to be more creative to help?
    2. If we don’t feel our value of action learning, but PP feels useful, what’s more important here? and what do we learn from here?
    3. As a team, what can we do to make PP feel psychologically safer and more encouraged to share?
    4. What did you notice about the team when PP refused to give more confidential information? what impact would be? what better ways would be to address those issues?

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    Tomasz Pachoł

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    It is a good opportunity to talk about trust in team work.

    Presenter:
    1.What does presenter need to speak up openly?
    2. Which group behaviors encourage him?
    3. How does he or she feel in relation with a group.

    The team:
    1. How does in effect group when they don’t have the full information?
    2. How do they feel about the presenter?
    3. How do they feel about this situation?
    4. What emotions does it cause?
    5. What do they need from the presenter, what doesn’t he give them?
    6. Presenter was honest and informed the group about the situation. What do they think about him?
    7. How do they feel they could act in a future in case such situation happens in their team work?

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    Kamila Sobel

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    We are on the session in order to help the problem presenter. I would ask the presenter to give feedback to the group what they do well, and what they can do better in order to stay on track. What actions are you going to take?

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