In October, Sustaining the Journey addressed some typical first questions asked as participants learn the power of Cognitive CoachingSM. This month, we address a few of the typical questions that are asked as participants begin to understand and embrace the principles and tenets of Adaptive Schools.
The first and at frequent question is:
What do I do about a group that is disrespectful to each other?
This question is related to safety concerns described by Maslow on his hierarchy of needs and as a personal concern on the Concerns Based Adoption Model. If not addressed, the group will stall in its development and perhaps fail.
In the early stages of teaming or in small PLCs, there is often no designated facilitator who is charged with managing process. A facilitator can set up processes and address norms and behaviors in a group that is not yet developed to the point of being self- managing, self-monitoring, and self-modifying.
Any member of the group may suggest developing working agreements and norms of collaboration. This is best done early in the group’s work, but if it is not established, the issue can be raised at any time. A group that takes a few minutes at the end of a meeting to discuss how their meeting went will be more likely to grow in process.
Another strategy is for a member of the group or a facilitator to talk to the person about his behavior and the effect on the group. It is important not to make judgments, but to offer data, e.g., “Today you said, “I think you are out of line with that idea,” ‘You are wrong about that,” or, “That idea was rejected years ago and is not going to work here.” Data should be followed by a question such as, “What are your ideas about how that is affecting our group.” An authentic request for help can also be useful. It might sound like, “I really need your help in monitoring your comments that may feel hurtful to others.”