Scenario: Phone Rings Written by DrBea on October 24, 2016. Posted in Action Learning, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: During the session a team member’s phone rings and they leave the table to answer it. Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk Trackback from your site. Comments (28) Kathleen October 25, 2016 at 7:34 pm | # I would ask the group how they would like to handle this or similar situations when the team member taking the call returns to the group. Reply shiyun October 27, 2016 at 1:45 am | # Check with the rest of the team “what do we want to do with the situation?” Proceed according to the team decision. During the review and learning part, if no one mention this incident, I will mention it and ask the team “what’s the impact to the team if phone rings in the middle of the meeting and one has to answer to it?” Following the answers, I will further ask the team “how can we improve the team norms around picking up phone calls?” Reply elbertor October 28, 2016 at 9:49 am | # Perhaps the call is of a sensitive nature or an emergency, so initially, I would focus my attention on the other team members. I would also try to observe if anyone was noticeably disrupted by the incident: “Team, X just left to answer a phone call. How would you like to proceed?” They could either opt to proceed with the discussion, or wait for X to return. Once X returns, I would ask “Is everything okay?” If X expresses this is a one-time occurrence, or that it is urgent and unavoidable and won’t happen again, I can ask the team, “How can we support X so that he is caught up on what he missed out on?” If, however, his response suggests nonchalance, or that it is a call that could have waited til after the session, I would take the opportunity to ask the team what the impact would be if people kept leaving in the middle of the session to take calls. If X expresses something along the lines of “My boss or superior needs to be able to reach me at all times,” I would ask him first “What kind of support do you need?” I would also turn to the team again and ask for suggestions: “Knowing it might happen again (or that it’s likely to happen again), how can we support X so that he can take his calls without disrupting the flow of conversation?” And later “How can we support X so that he is brought up to speed quickly and not get lost when he returns?” Reply BobvdWoerdt October 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm | # When the phone call is ended. I will asked and tell him/her; “Did you understand the rules? And did I told you/everyone that you can not ansering a phone call? Nobody told me that they can expect an urgent phone call that must be answered. And I may ask the group, what is the effect on the group. Reply Hans van Buijten November 8, 2016 at 5:09 am | # I would apologize for not addressing the chance that someone is called during the session. I would stop the session and wait for X to return. After X returns I would ask the team how to achieve commitment about telephone calls during Action Learning sessions. What is their common behaviour during ‘normal business meetings’? What works well for them and what doesn’t? I would try not to spend much time on this subject and move on with the Action Learning session, after checking that everyone is 100% present again. Reply Joi November 1, 2016 at 4:33 am | # Ask the team if they would like to wait for the team member to come back or resume with the session. Proceed with the team’s decision. When the team member comes back, ask the team how they would like to handle when a similar situation occurs. Reply DrBea November 1, 2016 at 4:51 pm | # Remember it is not our job as coach to be directive with the team, just name the behavior, have them identify the impact, and determine what to do about it. For this situation I would say – I’ve observed someone just left the room. What’s the impact on the problem solving when someone leaves the group? How do we want to handle it, today? What should our norm around leaving the group (or electronics – depending on the exact situation) be? How will we handle when (person) returns? Note: I didn’t ask – how we will catch them up? – that might not be the best use of the teams time. It is for the team decide what they want to do when the person returns. Happy Coaching Bea Reply Linette November 9, 2016 at 1:15 am | # I agree that as a coach we should not be directive with the group. I would ask the group, how can we proceed if someone has just left the session to take a call? And how we can handle this kind of situation in future if it happens again? What would be the impact on the group if one person is missing from the session? It could be possible that the group may say that they are not bothered by someone leaving the group to take a call, given the work culture or norm of that country. So I may then ask how we can help the person be up to speed if he joins the group much later and missed much of the session. Reply AgataRD November 16, 2016 at 5:34 am | # I would ask the group if it would be helpful for them to establish some ground rules around using the electronics during their session. Reply Tiffany Maurycy January 19, 2017 at 6:22 am | # I can hear Bea’s voice asking those questions of the team. The tone is curious and the mindset is open to whatever the team decides. I love how it’s all about raising it up to awareness. Reply Sridar January 23, 2017 at 5:56 am | # I would ask the team if they would like to proceed the session without a team members presence. Once the member returns, I would then ask the team what will be the impact to the team be if members go in and out during a AL session. I would also ask how could the team ensure that such behaviour is not repeated in future. Reply Edo Lavika February 9, 2017 at 10:08 am | # I will intervened and used it as learning opportunity. I would tell the team: “I observed one of the member just left. What the team think about this?” After they answer I would ask again “How do the team solve this problem?” Reply Lei February 25, 2017 at 10:12 pm | # I will intervene and ask the Team “Team, Person A , has left to answer a call. What would the team like to do?” If the team then responds that they will continue, I will ask the team ” ” How can we support Person A to catch-up when he/she is back?” And then during the learning/reflection I will bring back the learning /intervention especially when theteam had agreement about phone calls – ” Earlier on we had agreements about phone calls. What are we learning about keeping commitments?”” What is the impact to the team if commitments are not kept?” Reply Seokjin LEE March 6, 2017 at 7:15 am | # I first would give the team to notice what just happened which i mean to have the team notice what could have impact on the team by themselves. if there’s no one in the team who notice the situation, I would ask the team “Team, what just happened? Do you notice anything happening in this team in the discussion?” And I would ask “what could this situation be continued?” “what could this situation have impact on the team activity?” Lastly, I would ask the team “what could do we do better for the team to be better?” As you notice, this process exactly follow the SID intervention model. I proved that this model is 100% effective in this situation. Reply Bolen Pech April 3, 2017 at 8:31 am | # In this situation, I would ask the team, “Team, what’s happening to our conversation now?” If the team members say, “Mr. A just left the table to answer the phone.”, then, I will follow with this question, “what would be the impact to the team if such a situation happens again and again in the team meeting? “so how does the team want to do now?” The team will come out with some answer – either waiting for continuing or setting up some additional team rules. If the team ignored the ring or did not get my intention, I would also go down to a bit more specific question, “Did you notice that a member just left to pick up a call. What do you want to do with this?” Reply Kirsty Foster July 17, 2017 at 11:39 pm | # My respionse would depend upon if the group had already set a norm around phones and answering calls. At the start of the session I would ask the group if there were any norms they would like to set to enable the group to work most effectively. This may well come up at this point if group members have their phones to hand already. otherwise this would be an opportunity for the group to consider if they want to add a new norm. I would ask them – how has the groups dynamic and capacity changed with one person exiting the room? How would the group like respond to this situation? Reply mattfarmer July 21, 2017 at 2:38 pm | # Kirsty – this is a fair point although as a group participant, I’m not sure what ‘dynamic and capacity’ might mean? One could be simpler in asking the group, “what is the impact of someone leaving our group to answer a call?” Reply Wu Yanmei August 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm | # I would like to intervene and say “I noticed that someone answered the phone during the discussion. What’s the impact of doing this?” After the team pointing out the impact I will continue to ask the following question: How can we avoid such kind of situation? The team will set new rules to avoid such kind of situation. Reply Daniela Adamo September 7, 2017 at 9:06 pm | # I would intervene saying that I have just noticed a member of the team leaving the room to take a call and ask the team how they would like to proceed. They team may decide to take a break or continue with the session. Notwithstanding their decision I would ask the person that took the call if everything is OK upon their return. I would then ask the team how do would want to handle the use of phones going forward. They may decide to switch all phones off and commit to only checking them during breaks. I would finally ask what might be the impact on the team if we all stay fully engaged by honouring this norm of turning phones off in order to encourage a deeper level of learning. Reply Hans Ploeg September 17, 2017 at 7:03 pm | # Every session I start with a group power statement. In this power statement the members agree with their own team rules who to behave. For example: – Speak free, No phones, Keep it save for everybody, What happens here stays here etc. In every session the phones are off and members are not allowed to leave the session. So when someone is leaving the session I will stop the session and go back to the power statements of the group. When the member is back I will ask the group what the effect is on the group and how they think about their own group power statement? I would ask the group: Do we want to respect the group power statement? What do we do about this? Are we agree to turn off the phones? Keep the interruption when the person is back as short as possible. Reply Leo lee November 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm | # I would ask “I’ve observed someone just left the room. What’s the impact on the problem solving when someone leaves the group? How do we want to handle it, today?” Reply Manhai Huang December 11, 2017 at 12:07 am | # The phone rings will interfere with the team’s discussion. If it is me, the ideal means is to make an additional rule before the discussion: “no call is allowed.” But if it was in the absence of the rules agreed in advance, I would ask question to remind the team realized someone had leave the seat, and let the team decide whether or not to wait for him to come back again, and then continue to ask questions “as a team , how do we do” and “what we could we do better” to guide the team to improve. Reply Romila Chopra January 1, 2019 at 7:10 am | # As an action learning coach , I would always like to keep a norm regarding not attending phone calls or taking unscheduled breaks . Hence , if the situation arises , I would let the group decide on the what they would like to do . I would intervene. ” X has left the room to attend a phone call. Would the group like to continue or wait for him/her ?” . I would go with the groups decision . On X’s return, I would intervene ” I have observed that members leave the room to attend phone calls and not wait for scheduled breaks. What is the impact of this behaviour on the group.? How do we wish to handle this in the future ? “ Reply Arnaud van Dijk May 21, 2019 at 11:28 am | # When it’s a part of the power statements made in the beginning of the session I will intervene and ask the group what the effect is on the group and how they think about their own group power statement? and how this incident can be prevented in the future. Otherwise I will use it as learning opportunity. I would tell the team: “I observed one of the members just left. What the team think about this?” After they answer I would ask again “How can the team solve this problem ?” Reply Noppachat Anuson June 1, 2019 at 3:32 am | # If there is no agreement at the beginning of the session about the use of handphone during the session, when the phone rings, I would ask team members if they allowed him (the member whose phone was ringing) to answer the call. If members said no, I would ask members if we all should turnoff the phone. If members agreed with yes, I would allow him to answer the phone as short as possible because other members were waiting for him. Then, after he finished the call I would ask members if we all should turnoff the phone. Reply Noppachat Anuson June 15, 2019 at 5:29 am | # Assume that there was no agreement at the beginning of the session about the use of hand phone during the session, when one team member left to answer the phone, I would ask rest of the team members “Should we wait for him or we go on the session without him?”. We will do according to the team decision. When all team members were around, I would ask “What are we going to do so that interruption will not happen again?”. Reply Savin Oeun September 3, 2019 at 9:39 am | # Hi Team, what is happening now? What is impact? And what should we do then? Reply FangFang Kong March 17, 2020 at 8:38 am | # As an action learning coach, I would like to ask the team: What happens to the team now? What does the team do about this situation? When the team member comes back, how can we support him to make up for the missed information? How does the lack of team members affect our action learning? Based on this situation, what measures should we set to manage mobile phones in the process of action learning? Reply Leave a comment You must be logged in to post a comment.