Scenario: Assumed Rules

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A participant says – “Wait. My question hasn’t been answered. The rule is that you have to answer the question”

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

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Comments (8)

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    Freddi

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    It would depend on what had been happening with the group, but my first reaction would be…please restate your question and let’s see if anyone has some input for you.

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      Hans van Buijten

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      I would give the participant a compliment for being assertive and ask the team if it is clear who the participant has asked the question to. Next step would be to ask the participant to reiterate the question. I would also ask the team what impact this participant’s ‘statement’ made. What was the impact on the energy level in the team? What advice could they give to this particpant and than ask the participant what he/she has learned. Has this made the team stronger?

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    bkknox

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    As the AL coach, I would make the following statement and ask two questions. I heard that the rule is that you have to answer the question. Does anyone remember the rule differently? Can someone from the team share what they believe the rule is?

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    EnzoArmo

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    The second ground rule states that anyone in the group can ask anyone else in the group a question. This does not imply that it must be answered right away, especially if waiting for an answer would become a detriment to the group moving forward in the aforementioned Action Learning process. As the coach of the team, it is my job to make sure that we go through the necessary elements that make up the process in order to ensure that Action Learning take place.

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    Kathleen

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    I would ask if someone could repeat the ground rules. Then I would ask, “so…does that mean a question must be answered?”

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    BobvdWoerdt

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    It depends if emotions running high and individuals became vulnerable.
    I ask the group: can you tell me when we discussed this rule and were we agree to this rule?
    And I ask the other participant who received the question: Was the question clear to you? Otherwise I ask the participant to repeat the question in other words.

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    DrBea

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    I would ask the person stating this – What is the ground rule?
    If they don’t answer quickly – Team, what is the ground rule?

    Then back to the first person – How does this differ from how you stated the rule?
    If they don’t answer – Team, how does it differ?

    Do we want a team norm around answering questions before moving on?
    If everyone says yes – What should that norm be?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Tiffany Maurycy

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    I appreciate seeing the opportunity to always pivot to the entire to team to respond to a question taking the heat of the moment off the individual. I also liked the use of a closed ended question to empower the team to move in either direction.

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