Scenario: Pre-existing Condition

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: Two team members were arguing in the hall before the session started. As soon as one says something, the other rolls their eyes and mumbles something under their breath.

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

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Comments (4)

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    Barry Hellings

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    This is a moment where an intervention is pretty necessary. I would make a statement about what I have seen and heard. I think it’s important not to make assumptions in this case: ‘I see you roll your eyes and mumble after X’s comment. Is there anybody who wants to ask something about this?

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    Paulina Gucka

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    As AL coach first I would ask the group “How is the atmosphere in the group?”, “How it impacts the work of the group?” and than “How they want to manage the situation?”. In case the group doesn’t see the “interaction” between 2 team members, I would say what I see between them, ask how they perceive it + how the group perceives it. At the end I would ask how the group want to manage the situation.

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      Aleksandra Jach

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      I would do a round with general question about the group work (classic AL intervention): what we are doing well and what can be better? If it will be needed to continue the conversation, because the problem wasn’t verbalised, I would ask more precisely: what do we need from the group to feel safe and heard?

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    Bert van Veldhuizen

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    The session must be safe for everyone, that is a condition. This also means that what has been described cannot be left undiscussed. As a coach you have to respond to this. As soon as I saw this, I would ask the group how it is going. So an intervention with the question how are things going so far? What is going well and what can be improved? In this way I hope that the group will pick up the topic itself. If this happens, it is nice that people themselves indicate the frameworks of what they find acceptable as a group and what they do not. I also hope that if it helps people ask for help.
    If the conversation does not start then I will confront people with my perception. I have seen that…. Have you seen that too? What does that do to the group process, involve the parties involved as much as possible as a group member and not as two separate parties involved. If no one responds, then those involved are the right people to answer the question. The group can then respond to this again.

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