Scenario: Too Much Information

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The team in a single problem action learning set asks questions to the sponsor (the boss). In addition to answering the question, the sponsor talks about the context, history, options, ideas for solutions, etc., etc. As coach, you’ve asked the boss – “what question are you answering?” The boss indignantly says that one. You ask what was it? He says – “I don’t know.” This happens with each question regardless of whether it is closed or open. The team members are uncomfortably aware of this high power distance (respect for authority) and say it’s ok.

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

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    Cynthia Wong

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    After the boss says, “I don’t know”, turn to person asking the question and say, “Mr. ABC, would you like to repeat the question?” When the boss reply to the question, as soon as he has answered question and takes a breath, say “Thank you, sir, this will help us stay focused.” and ask the team, “Who has the next question?” This should help the boss get the idea that he is to answer the question only without rambling on.

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