Scenario: Take charge

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During the session someone jumps up to the easels and starts capturing what is said.

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

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Comments (26)

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    AlexWalker

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    Simply note mentally that the group (or at least the individual) is showing ownership of the work. Depending on what happens next/later I may intervene to support the learning but in this moment, I would just observe it.

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    Linette

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    I would ask the group how capturing notes would help them during the session to obtain their views on whether they are comfortable in the first place with the person continuing with the note taking since we had earlier not set a norm on note taking at the beginning of the session.

    I would ask the group if they are alright with the notes being captured as they are on the flip chart and if yes they are ok to having notes captured, how else they would prefer the notes to be captured – in a summarised way or verbatim? I would ask them on their preferred dos and don’ts on how the notes could be captured.

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    AgataRD

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    I would ask how the team feels about capturing the topic and if they feel it is helpful.

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    Tiffany Maurycy

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    I would say the following:
    “Team, I’ve observed someone at the easel ready to take notes. What’s the impact on the team when decisions are made without consulting the team? How do we ensure team consensus within this team for all decisions?

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    Edo Lavika

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    I would ask the team, “Team, I observe that one of us is taking notes and capturing our discussion, what do you think about this and how do you think we should proceed?” I leave the team to decide: if it is OK to the team, OK with improvement, or if it is not OK, do we have a better way? and use this a learning opportunity.

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    Denise Locke

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    I would intervene and tell the team that I’ve observed someone starting to capture what’s being said, I would ask them as a team if they feel that it’s of value to them according to where they are in their problem solving and let them make the decision, then check going round the room that everyone is ok with carrying on or stopping capturing the information at this stage.

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    Paul Duncan

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    I would intervene and tell the team I have noticed someone starting to capture the teams’ thoughts on the easel, what is the impact of someone doing that on the team?
    In doing this , I’d want to check this person was not controlling the group by unhelpfully editing others comments.

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  • Dr Bea

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    This is one of the situations that we want to bring to awareness without judgement. Once it’s raised to awareness than the team can decide the value and the path forward.

    My questions –
    I’ve observed someone has started capturing notes. Did anyone else notice that?
    What’s the impact of this on our problem solving?
    How would we like to proceed?

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    Shobhna Popatlal

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    I would observe the situation. I would intervene with “I noticed someone decided to write down the notes on the chart. What does the team feel about that?” and follow with “What is the impact of doing this to the problem solving” Depending on the consensus I will further ask “What do we want to do next” If they decide to proceed with the note taking, I will observe in terms of participation and focus of the group.

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    Michael Anderson

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    Like Bea, and many others in this thread, I want to observe without judging the behavior. I hope I have the presence of mind to lead with “I have observed that someone is taking notes on behalf of the team.” Hopefully, I am present enough to follow up with, ” What effects might this have on our problem-solving process? How do you want to proceed? Who has the next question?” What do you all think about that? If I use the phrase in my opening observation, “on behalf of the team,” am I making an assumption that I am better off not making?

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    Owen Yeung

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    I’ll likely to observe for a while and see how the team reacts to it. If possible, I’ll tend to wait for the first pulse-check and ask what the team observed. Then, ask them what’s the impact of the behaviour (capturing things by someone) to the team, how far does this help in terms of arriving at actions, etc.? I’ll leave the team to decide whether they would like that person to continue or not and also explore with team what are some other possible ways of capturing things for the benefit of solving the problem?

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    Barbara Brown

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    I also would observe for a while and see how this effects the team. Then, as others said, I would say, “I observe that someone is taking notes for the team. How does this effect the team and problem solving?” After they talk about this I would ask them how they want to proceed. If they decide to continue having the person take notes I would observe to see that the items are written as stated, not in the writer’s words. I would also watch to see if the person or his/her actions start to take over the discussion. Especially if the person is standing to take notes he / she might become the center of the discussion. Depending on what happens I might want to intervene again and ask about the effects on the discussion.

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    MAI PHAM

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    I find the person is taking ownership with intention to contribute to the team. I will observe a few minutes to see how the reaction of the team members. Then I will ask the person what is his aim in capturing notes, how it helps the team in the AL session. Then I will ask the team how his notes is going to help the team reach our result and if the team want to keep the capturing going on.

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    Sophie Bryan

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    I would remind myself of this person’s leadership skill they want to develop- maybe this action is this person’s way of developing that skill, so would observe this and make notes for feedback. From the team’s point of view, I would state that I have observed xx taking notes, and then ask the individual why they chose to take that action. I would then ask the team if they felt this would be useful, and then how they would like to proceed.

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    Justin Li

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    i would like to interven and say, “team, i obeserve one of team members starts capturing whats said, what’s the impact to the team?” and “how would we like to proceed?”, sometimes, the result will be positive and drive the team to divide the work and make the team rules.

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    Eric Yang

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    Oh ,let it be.
    To see what’s going on.
    If everything goes well ,that’s helpful.It’s kind of taking notes ,and highlight some key points or need viualization.
    If only writing .less question ,may ask :How is the impact to our latest progress?

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    Michelle Lin

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    This actually occurred during my practice action learning session. I allowed it to happen, as I did not feel that the ground rules were broken. I did however, intervene by asking “what is the impact of Susannah jumping up and using the flipchart when we were discussing the problem” – participants viewed it s a positive, as the scribe also ensure that she participated in the discussion/questions rather than simply being the scribe.

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    Delia Peixoto

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    I would say: “I’ve observed that ‘someone’ have jumped up to the easels and starts capturing what is said. Did anyone else have also observed? What is the impact of this for this group? What could be our rule about this? ”

    Depending on the answers that would come, i would keep managing the process following the commitment from the team, regarding the ground rules and making interventions when a learning opportunity is in place.

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    Allen Tillman

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    As an Action Learning Coach, I would acknowledge this person’s action and ask the following questions-
    – As a group how do we feel about xx taking notes? (Asking each participant, okay or not okay)
    – How will xx notetaking increase learning?
    – Do we feel that xx notetaking diminishes xx contributions in the session?
    (Okay, who has the next question?)

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    Aleksandra Lemanska

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    I would stop him and the group for a moment and ask if everybody is fine with writing it down on the flip. I would be very attentive on reactions of each member. I would also ask how wiriting down the ideas is helping us in create a solution to the problem presenter.

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    Renata Czajkowska

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    I would intervene and say: I have observed that one person is capturing what is being said. How does it impact our work?

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    Andrew Rahaman

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    This recently happened in an action learning group. The problem presenter acknowledged it by saying (paraphrased) ” I see N is starting to take notes, how could this be helpful to us and also how could this not help.” What evolved for 5 minutes was a conversation about the fidelity of note taking and what was captured, and how to keep the note taker engaged in the process. Then the problem presenter asked the group if they wanted to continue with the note taking on the flip chart. My personal observation was that the process worked for the following reasons: It was the problem presenter that intervened, which highlighted he understood the AL process; He wanted everyone’s participation in creating a group norm, and the group owned what they wanted to do

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    Joanna Lee

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    Assuming the team is agreeable with the person capturing the discussion on the easel, I might ask: Team, how will you keep the note-taker engaged in the AL process?

    It is important for the team to be aware that the note-taker, while being away from the table physically, is still part of the team. He/She is has the opportunity and responsibility to contribute by asking questions, practicing his/her competency, responding to questions asked, apart from note-taking. The question also helps the note-taker become aware of his/her role.

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    Vicky Glanville

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    I would highlight that ‘x’ is now taking notes and ask the team how they felt this was working for the team. I would ask if they felt this allowed ‘x’ to fully participate in the AL session. If they are happy and feel that ‘x’ is able to fully participate i would allow it to continue

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    Heather-Jane Gray

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    I’m working on a lighter touch with less judgement, so I’d observe the AL process for a while.
    Then I’d say: “I’ve noticed that X has started taking notes on the flipchart…
    What’s the impact of this on our creative problem-solving process? OK or not OK? (Why?)
    How would we like to proceed? (I may also raise the issue about X remaining part of the AL process while they scribed, & I’d also check that they were accurately capturing what people were saying without ‘taking-over’ with too much leadership – however enthusiastic & well-meaning. I’d probably also briefly mention the Intention – Impact Gap if appropriate).

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    Kathy Zou

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    I would observe the team reactions and dynamics for a while. Then I would say and ask the team “I noted that X has started taking notes on the flipchart…? how do you feel about it? what impact of this on the discussion and team, how would you like to proceed? In principle, I would just bring this to the team awareness and let the team to decide how they would like to proceed

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