Scenario: One on One

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A single team member is asking all the questions of the problem presenter, the remainder sitting back observing.

Tags: Action Leaning, Action Learning Coach, WIAL, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk

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Comments (4)

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    Donellen Schlosser

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    I would take the opportunity during a check-in to ask “How are we doing as a group in balancing the questioning among all members?” or “How are we doing as a group with balancing participation?” You may have to take the pulse of the group to see if they are simply not participating, don’t feel comfortable breaking in, or are processing the information and may need a bit more time to ask questions.

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    Lenor Baptiste-Simmons

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    At the first standard intervention (8-12 minutes into the session), as the coach, I will intervene and ask each participant “on a sca.e of 1-10, how do you feel we are doing as a group thus far?” Then ask the group “what are we doing well? Anything else? , “what could we do bettrer? Anything else?

    Finally, i would ask the group to respond to the following process question: “what is the balance of participation.”

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    Michelle Lim

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    As Coach, I would ask the Team their observations of all team members’ body language, followed by a scaling question that requires them to rate on a scale of 1-10 the level of participation within the Team (1 very low, 10 fully engaged). With their observation and input, assuming they observe only one active team member and level of participation is low, I would ask them what the impact on the team is if this is allowed to continue.

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    Emmanuel Ossom

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    Having noticed that only one team member is asking all the questions of the problem presenter, i will intervene with a number of questions with the aim to ensure that at least every team member participates as much as possible. The first question would be: “How is the balance of participation?” The next question would be a scale type question: “What would be your rating on a scale of 1-10 (where 1 is the least participation, and 10 is the highest participation) of your participation in asking questions of the presenter?” These questions will alert them that the asking of questions of the problem presenter is tilted towards one team member. It will certainly awaken the rest to rise up to their responsibility as team members to ask questions too. They would certainly respond to these questions by getting actively involved in asking the right questions as they would have noticed that asking divergent questions by all of them is necessary to unravel the real problem in the problem statement presented . Asking many right questions by all team members is the fastest and surest way to understand the problem statement presented and to quickly define what the real problem is. This will stimulate the “sense of ownership” of attaching a sense of urgency of defining the real problem and also to act on it. There is a risk of wrongly defining the real problem if other team members wouldn’t be asking questions of the problem presenter as expected of them. That would mean the subsequent actions too on the wrongly defined real problem would be wrong and that would eventually mean that the real problem of the problem presenter would be left undefined and unsolved. If others too wouldn’t be asking questions, there is also the risk that at the end of the session, consensus wouldn’t be reached and that would mean the time spent on the session has been a waste. Thus, moreover, not asking question would mean no generation of creative insights into the problem, lack of focus and productivity, and the rest of the team members wouldn’t develop their leadership skills for other challenges they may face on the job or other problems they may have to define and solve.

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