Question asked in response to a question

I have encountered  this in a session yesterday and I wonder if any one has some creative ideas.. As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During the session PP./TM  posed a question to the group and the first response was a question back to her. The question to her was partially related to her question and partially a follow up on the questions that PP was answering just before she posed the question to the group.

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Comments (6)

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    William Chew

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    There may be different reasons for the question. Depending on the context and the flow of the conversation, I may allow the question if the question is useful in helping the group clarify assumptions and this is the first instance of a question response to another question posed. After the problem presenter has answered the question, I would intervene and have the problem presenter pose her question again and allow the conversation to continue from there.

    However, if this has been happening quite a bit in the session, I would intervene by stating my observations that some questions had been going unanswered, and then ask the team, “What might happen if questions posed are not answered? How would this impact the quality of our discussion? What would the team like to do about this?”

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      Popsy Kanagaratnam

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      It would all depend on the context – if the intent of the question is to clarify, then I would allow a question. After the PP answers the question, then, I would remind the group of the rule about statements in response to a question, and then have the PP pose her question again.

      Is this a newly formed group? If they are still learning the ground rules, it may be trying to put the ground rules into practice.

      I’d like more information before I make a decision.

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    Ngozi Stanley-Obi

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    I will make a bridging comment by building on the question to steer the group back into the session.

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    paul bana

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    Popsy, yes this was a fairly new group, still learning ‘road rules’. Alongside of what William suggested in the second part of his post.. in that situation I intervened immediately:
    – have you noticed a question came out in place of response to the question just asked?
    – how does that affect the process?
    – what is the best way to deal with such situation?

    The answer from the team was – ‘lets make sure a question is answered before ant new question is raised’.

    I was amased how well the group self corrected and the extent to which the conversation quality improved straight after the team agreed on this new norm!

    Thanks everyone for creative input

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    DrBea

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    Some of the most powerful questions – are question in response to a question. In general I would do nothing about this unless there was a significant amount of stacking.

    There is no rule that a statement MUST follow a question – simply that to make a statement it must be in response to a question.

    If many questions have gone unanswered I would bring this to awareness and ask the team how they want to handle it.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    LUOKAIWEI

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    There may be different reasons for the question. Based on the context and the flow of the conversation, I think that, the coch may allow the question if the question is useful in helping the group clarify assumptions.

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