Scenario: Overly Focused

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team has generated a number of alternative perceptions, ideas, opinions, facts, etc. as to the true nature of the problem. Then the team starts focusing in on one (e.g., debating the merits or validity of the specific component) and omits other items from explicit consideration.

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

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Comments (5)

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    Philippe Rion

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    I ask the presenter “Of all the topics, ideas, facts, etc… that have been generated by the team’s, what are the others that you want to see explored?” This will allow the team to consider other avenues. For isolating the option that the group has focused on, I will ask the presenter and the team “If the item: debating the merits or validity of the specific component could not be considered, what other items might be of interest to you?

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    Kristi Alcouffe

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    I would say…”I’d like to intervene here. How have we done in terms of developing ALL the alternative perceptions, ideas, opinions and facts that have been developed as to the true nature of the problem?”

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    Sim Choo Khoo

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    As the AL Coach, I would ask “Team, with the many ideas generated, what do you notice on how we are focusing on specific ideas?
    If team says they notice that they are focusing on only one, I would ask “Team, how would focusing on 1 limit the solution for the PP?”
    I would then ask “With the time we have, how would you like to progress on ideas generated?”

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    Bert van Veldhuizen

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    I would try to keep it simple by asking if there is already consensus on the problem. No, then I would ask the team why not, I hope that they themselves realize through the interruption that they still must investigate some topics. If they agree, I will ask them how they found this problem. What I am trying to avoid is telling them they have discussed too few options. I will include this as a subject later in the reflection, which I saw that they very quickly focused on a subject and mainly concentrated on it. And that hopefully they had already seen and experienced that themselves.

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    Lee Kwan Meng

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    With so many ideas and views shared by the team members, as an Action Learning coach, I will intervene by going back to the problem presenter to ask what he/she thinks about the contributions from the team members. Then based on the response from the problem presenter, regardless of whether he/she agreed with the one consideration presented by the team, I will then ask the team members to respond back to the problem presenter and explore through questions all the other ideas they have shared by reflecting back for the problem presenter to decide which of the ideas has more pros than cons or merits to the problem. No doubt , there can never be a perfect solution, but at least the team members and problem presenter can learn how to be open to all alternatives or options and make a decision that best suits the problem that has been presented.

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