Scenario: Pulling Rank

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

A higher ranking participant of the team decides to pull rank and asks another team member – “Do you want to stay employeed?”

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

Comments (6)

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    david tsipenyuk

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    As a coach, I would do 2 things to reinforce positive behaviour in the group. Firstly, I would communicate to the group to have optimal performance during the action learning process it is important to remember the 2 ground rules. I would ask the group who would like to to repeat the ground rules? Once the selected member repeats the 2 ground rules, I would follow up, with regardless of rank, tenure, position in specific organization, etc. anyone can ask a question of anyone at any time without negative repercussions. Second, I would have a separate conversation during break with higher ranking individual about the important of following the action learning protocol if option results want to be attained.

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    Wim van Wieren

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    First I would wait a little longer to observe the group behaviour. If the group does correct it by themselves I would save my observation for the closout feedback. If this is not the case I would make a group learning intervention and ask what in relation to the groundrules and intention of the proces is the impact of this remark to individual and group learning. Depending on re-establishing trust and engagement in the group I would decide to proceed as we were or deepen the coaching step to re establish group trust and maximise learning.

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    Alexandra Shevchenko

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    I’ll make an intervention:
    • What’s going on in a team?
    • How does it affect the team effectiveness?
    • How can we switch to the constructive discussion mode?
    • Who will ask the next question?
    It is important to let participants analyze the situations independently, preventing them from using pushing and negative attacks. If first intervention doesn’t work due to the high emotional background and “negative participant” continue “to push”, coach may employ next levels interventions, for example:
    • I’ve noticed a personal threat. How does it affect the teamwork?
    • What are you going to do about it as a team?

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    Mark Kookushkin

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    • I would response to this case based on importance of team integrity maintenance and respect to each participant (including those who use a status and authority during the AL session in an unproductive way).
    • First question to the bossy participant: “What question are you answering right now?” Probably it is worth to remind AL Ground rule
    • Next question to the group: “How are we doing as a team?” with following: “How does it affect the teamwork?” and “What team action could be most effective in the case given?”
    • One of the probable discussions line to apply in this case: “In what way statuses (“epaulets”) of group members do affect the productiveness of a teamwork?”
    • After any action (decision) of a team, I ask a question: “Who will ask the next question?”

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    Alexander Belov

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    As a coach, I would ask a question: “What’s going on in a team?” If group members repliy: “Nothing special”, I’ll remind them about the mutual respect norm I emphasized at the beginning of the session. Then I’ll clarify: “In what way threat to team member does help us to solve a problem? What should we do to concentrate our efforts on the problem solving?” After receiving specific proposals, I’ll thank group members and ask: “Who will ask next question?”
    If group members in response to my first question admit that there is a conflict situations appears, I will ask: “How does it affect the team work? What the team is going to do in a different way?” After receiving specific proposals, I’ll thank group members and ask: “Who will ask next question?”

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    Elena Goryacheva

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    Situation is similar to the previous one – despite the tough situation and difficult emotional state (and if it happens for the s first time) I will ask: “What’ going on? How does it help the team to move towards the goal? What are you going to do about it?”
    If I notice threats again, I will make another intervention: “What question have you just answered? How does it affect the teamwork?” The next intervention is going to be: “I’ve noticed some emotional statements. How does it affect teammates’ work? What are you going to do about it?”

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