Eager team member Written by murmac on September 17, 2012. Posted in Action Learning, WIAL Talk A member of the team you are coaching insists on answering questions that are being directed to the Problem Presenter Tags: Action Learning Coach Trackback from your site. Comments (9) Carole September 17, 2012 at 10:58 am | # I’m not clear what the issue is so could you clarify? Is the team member answering before the problem presenter? If that’s the case, then I would simple watch to make sure PP has the opportunity to answer as well. I think it is sometimes useful when a team members models the principle that all questions are open to everyone to answer. OR is the team member answering FOR the problem presenter? If the latter, and its a repeated behavior, then I would suggest a process review and one of the questions I would ask is “Team, what’s the impact on the process when we are answering questions for others?” Reply Chris Cowan September 19, 2012 at 6:19 am | # I agree with Carole. I think the word “insists” suggests that the team member is repeatedly and inappropriately answering questions directed to someone else, which would definitely be a problem. I think a process review could work. As a coach, you could also ask, “was that question intended for only one person or the group?” That may uncover some hidden assumptions and clarify some expectations. Reply Caitlin September 20, 2012 at 11:38 am | # Hello, I am assuming that the issue in question is more like the second scenario Carole described above. If that is the case, I also believe that it is appropriate to intervene with a question such as, “What is the direction of our questioning?” The intent of this question is not only to bring attention to the member who is answering questions that are NOT directed to him/her, but hopefully to bring an awareness to the entire team where the questions are being directed. I have noticed that during the first AL session, most questions are focused on the PP. This would be frustrating that particular member and provides a learning opportunity for the whole time to realize they can ask questions of each other. Best of luck! Reply Rob K September 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm | # I thought once a question was put on the table it remained on the table, and it remained on the table for anyone. If that is the case, the fact that one person keeps answering the questions may not be the problem. The real may problem may be that one person’s taling so much, that he or she keeping others from participating. At my next intervention, I’d probably start with the thumbs up or thumbs down of “How are we doing?” I also might ask something like “How’s the communication?” If someone raises the issue, I then might go with something as simple as, “How would the group like to proceed?” Reply Colleen Carruthers October 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm | # I had been thinking the same thing here about whether the problem was really the problem. Glad you brought this up. I like your idea about checking in on the communication – ‘what are we noticing about our commication today? and I liked your question about how the group would like to proceed. Reply Jennifer Bryan October 4, 2012 at 5:36 am | # I agree completely with Rob here. I understand the issue being much more about the diversity of the communication. So, I would go back to basics and simply ask “What is the group doing well? What could the group do better?” If after this intervention, the situation continued, then I would recall the group to their previous agreement. Reply DrBea October 6, 2012 at 6:44 am | # Thanks again for an added scenario: Since the question was directed to the problem presenter, I would take this as a learning opportunity. I’d start by asking the responder what question they are answering? (Obvious answer) Then I would ask the questioner did you intend that question just for PP or for everyone to answer? Occasionally, the answer is I really just wanted PP take on this. More often, it is something along the lines I was assuming PP had the answer, but i suppose others might have input. Depending on that response I would either ask: If we have additional information in regards to a question that is asked of someone else, how could we find out if the team wanted it? or Why is it important that we tap into the diverse perspectives of the team? How could we tap into more of the diverse knowledge? Happy Coaching Bea Reply Colleen Carruthers October 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm | # Bea, Thanks so much for adding your perspective – it really helped me see some excellent options. I love the question of How could we tap into more of the diverse knowledge. I have a set coming up where I can see having this question in my back pocket will be helpful. Reply Stuart Tan October 17, 2017 at 11:48 am | # I might just raise the awareness of how this member has been answering questions (but not leave out the PP either), as statements must accompany questions. “Have you noticed that Mr A has been answering questions directed at PP? What is the effect of that on the team?” Once I understand the effect it has on the team, we may have new options. Reply Leave a comment You must be logged in to post a comment.