Scenario: Butting In

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

Someone answers a question that was asked of someone else.

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

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Comments (9)

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    Seokjin LEE

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    I would first let the team notice the situation. If someone keep answering the question asked of someone else, I would intervene in the discussion asking “Team, how is our balance of conversation?” “Do you think our team is all balanced in the conversation?” If the team noticed the imbalanced conversation by the question, I would ask them “how could we draw all in the conversation?” or “how could we overcome this imbalanced conversation?”

    I think this series of questions could have the team notice the situation and find out the way to make it better.

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    Aung Pye Tun

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    If someone answers a question that was asked of someone else, I would intervene by asking the team, “Team, what just happened?” My intention would be to draw the attention of the team to the current situation. When someone in the team correctly points out that someone has answered without being asked, I could take the learning in two different directions based on the progress of the team. First direction could be to remind the ground rule that says “Statements only in response to questions.” If someone says something without being asked and if it is not a question, it is breaking the ground rule. Second direction could be a learning intervention where I would ask the team, “What happens in a team when we don’t listen to others’ opinions or when we don’t let others to share their opinions?” This would get the team to reflect and the lessons they learn in the session would be useful in their day-to-day interactions.

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    DrBea

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    This could be done as a police intervention or an awareness depending on the exact situation.

    As a police – ask the person – What question are you answering? Who was that question asked of?

    As an awareness – I’ve observed someone answering a question asked of someone else. Did anyone else notice that?
    What’s the impact on the team when someone isn’t given the opportunity to answer a question that was asked of them?
    what do we want on norm to be in terms of responding to questions that have been posed?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Shobhna Popatlal

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    I would let the person who interrupted finish his answer and observe if the person to whom the question was intended to does proceed to answer next. If yes, I will observe and see if this was a one off situation. But I will bring the learning at the end. However, if the person
    a) does not get to answer or
    b) answers this time but the situation repeats

    I will immediately intervene with “Team, what just happened here?” If someone noticed the incident I will proceed to ask “What is the impact if the person who is asked a question does not get the opportunity to answer it?” and proceed with “What can we do to ensure that this does not happen again?” If the group is from the same organisation, I would go further “What is the impact in an organisation if this becomes a culture?”

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    Tracey

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    I would first see if the team notices; if not, I would do a check in and ask how the team participation is going? I would follow it up with asking if there is anything the team could do differently to ensure everyone is participating? If it continues, I would ask how the team interaction is going and if there is anything we can differently?

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    Tracey

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    I would first see if the team notices; if not, I would do a check in and ask how the team participation is going? I would follow it up with asking if there is anything the team could do differently to ensure everyone is participating? If it continues, I would ask then ask how the team interaction is going and if there is anything we can differently?

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    Tracey

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    I would first see if the team notices; if not, I would do a check in and ask how the team participation is going? I would follow it up with asking if there is anything the team could do differently to ensure everyone is participating? If it continues, I would ask then ask how the team interaction is going and how we can ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate?

    Reply

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    Gabor Holch

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    I would make sure to intervene on two counts. First, I would ask the person with the question whether she has received the answer she expected. Second, I would reach out to the team and ask them to make observations about the last round of questions and answers. In my opinion, the combination of these two interventions should yield a positive result.

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    Daniela Adamo

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    I would let the person that is answering finish and then observe the reaction among the team. If nobody picks up on it I would intervene saying that ‘I have observed the someone has answered a question that was directed at someone else’ and then ask ‘what is the impact of this on the team?’ and then I would leave the responsibility with the team to decide how to handle this going forward by asking ‘what we can do to ensure that this doesn’t happen again?’

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