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), and in addition to just answering the question, the sponsor talks about the context, history, options, ideas for solutions … and this even when the question asked was a closed one … Even if the team members become aware of this, they struggle – in particular in a high power distance (respect for authority) – to do anything about it. How would you as a coach intervene ?

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

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    Tom Dalderup


    I would have prepared the sponsor in advance, so the methodology would be clear. That would give me the opportunity to say that I observe the enthusiasm of the sponsor about the subject but would like to ask to respect the rules for the success of the methodology, and to just give statements as an answer to questions, and ask open questions only. If I have the feeling that this sponsor is an very dominant person, I would give this person the role of observant.


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