Scenario: Refusal to Participate

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: A member of the team does not want to participate.

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

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Comments (4)

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    Anisah Nurhani Abdul Shukor

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    Firstly, I will intervene by asking, “Team, what is happening? Is every member participating in the discussion?” If they identify that a member is not participating, I will then ask, “How does unequal participation affect the learning and progress of the group?”

    Following that, I will question, “What can we do to ensure everyone participates actively in the discussion?” After they respond, I will say, “Moving forward, who would like to ask the next question?”

    If the non-participating member continues to refuse to participate, I will prompt the member to reflect on their attitude by reminding the team on the Action Learning component of ‘Commitment to learning’ and asking, “If a team member does not involve themselves in the discussion, what does it say about their commitment to learning?”

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    Cynthia Wong

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    Team, how are we doing as one team on a scale of 1 to 10?
    What did we do well? What can we do better? (If no one mentions that anything about full participation being necessary then I will ask, “Are we getting full participation? If not, what is the impact? If someone does mention, apart from asking about impact, can also ask, “What can we do better to encourage full participation?”)

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    Aldona Orłowski

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    I’d acknowledge the situation by asking: Team, how have we been doing in scale 1-10 so far during this session?What have we done well? What could have we – as a Team – been doing in a different way? How do you rate team cooperation and group learning during that part of the session? If the Team noticed that one participant did not involve in the session, I’d ask: how did limited participation of one person influence finding solution to the problem? What can we do to involve all Team members into the session?
    In a phase of feedback I’d ask inactive participant: what should have happened to make you fully engaged into the session? What have you learnt about yourself, teamwork during that session and what is its relation to leadership competency you had chosen to develop today?

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    Natamon Warathadaphong

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    I would intervene and inform the team members: How is the quality of questions for the participants?
    What could be the impact on our group if there are some members who don’t participate in the session?
    How does the team decide to act upon the situation? If not tackled effectively, how are the consequences for everyone?
    If this situation remains the same, I would intervene again, and ask the member who doesn’t participate
    “ I observe that you don’t participate in the session. Why not?”
    I listen and acknowledge the answer and ask, “how would you like to change?”
    “I would like to remind everyone that the Action learning process requires all members involved in it because we would gain the opportunity to learn from others and practice impactful questioning skills via leadership competency skills and active listening skills”

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