As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:
You’ve agreed to do a demo for an organization and ask your contact to be the problem presenter. Your contact decides to test the team and the process by giving mis-information. In other words lying when they respond to questions. By the time this becomes apparent, many of the team members are upset and have made the decision that the process is stupid.
I would try to prevent this type of situation by clearly explaining the rules before the demo: also that the problem should be real anf WHY it should be real (and important and urgent). Saying so before would give me a chance to invoke the rules once the lying becomes apparent. But if it happens even if I tried to explain the rules before the demo; I would discuss the consequences of not taking the real problem (asking questions to the team) and, talk shortly about it without stygmatising the “liar” and ask for a real problem to train.
DOAN DUONG TRAN MINH
To prevent this situation, I will take the following actions:
– Before the demo, I’ve clearly explained to the contact about essential rules that ensure Action learning running well and bring best benefits to the team including how the probem should be.
– During the demo, when I found that the problem, I will ask the team:
o Hello team, how does a real, urgent, unsolved problem bring learning to all team members?
o What should we do next to make our time valuable?
I would definitely discuss the situation, especially if it becomes apparent for the team. I would ask: ” I have noticed some disruption (examples of behavioral changes in team members could be listed here), I am trying to understand, what are we facing here, could you share your perspective on this?”
I would ask everyone to take a break for five minutes. During this time I would take the problem presenter aside and talk about the process and the implications. Ask him how he felt the session was going and ask him to identify the potential harms in the problem. Then I would ask if he would speak to the group briefly and take responsibility for his behaviour. After he did this I would ask the group what they would like to do. They could look at the problem more truthfully, choose another problem within the group or have one myself that I present as an option.