Scenario: Closed Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: During the last check-in the team agreed that they need to use more open question; yet they continue to ask mostly close questioned. Even with the closed questions, the responses are open. You’ve tried asking “What question are you answering?” they say that one.  You add “What was that question?” They recognize it was a closed question and then give a closed answer. The next closed question the behavior repeats.   

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

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Comments (4)

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    Jeff Feldman

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    I would intervene by asking the group to first observe their own behavior . . . Has anyone noticed the types of questions we’re asking? What form are they taking? Then I would ask them to recall the agreement made . . . What agreement did we make with regard to questioning during our last check-in? Then invite thoughts on the value of open questions as opposed to closed ones . . . What value do we gain from using mostly open questions? And then the why question . . . Why is that we though we understand the value of open questions and have agreed to use more of them, we continue to ask mostly closed questions? And finally the action question . . . What should we do about this? If deemed necessary, we could brainstorm a list of open questions which might be helpful to our process, perhaps even prioritizing them for once we get back into questioning mode. Of course, this approach would have to be flexed a bit based on the group’s response at each step along the way of the intervention.

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    DrBea

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    Team, you had indicated you wanted to ask more open questions. How are e doing with that? When we decide as a team we want to do something, why is it important that we follow through? How will we hold ourselves and each other accountable to adhere to our agreements.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Yoge Rajendra

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    Team, how important is it to respond to questions with closed answers?

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    Thitiwan Sinthunok

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    since asking a close question is not breaking that ground rule. I would listen first if closed question may appropriate. But if not , I will ask the team “what is the quality of our question ? ”

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