Scenario: Confirming Thought

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

A participant makes a statement followed by – “do you agree?”

Tags: WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (10)

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    jwehri

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    Closed ended questions carry assumptions and solutions and so if the group is early in the process and working on getting agreement of the problem, I would intervene and say.. “I am observing that the group is moving to the suggestion/solutions phase. Do we have agreement on the problem?” Another way to ask a question.. “Where are we now in the problem solving (problem, goal, solutions phase)? or “Can you put that in the form of an open ended question?”

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    Sofia Georgiadou

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    I would intervene and ask: “Is this an open-ended question? Do you have an open-ended question for the group? or Can you repeat your question in a open-ended form?’

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    heathertan

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    I agree that if the team is early in the AL process, closed questions will limit the possibilities that can be generated in the dialogue. I will also observe the dynamics of the team. If the question is asked by someone senior in title in the team who is trying to dominate with his ideas, I will intervene and say ‘Team, a closed question has just been asked. What is the impact of a closed question on team members? How will that affect the problem discovery process and quality of solutions? How can you change it to an open ended question?’

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    Stan Oawster

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    I really like what Heatertan mentions above regarding the impact if a senior title is asking the question. I’d share my observation with a statement such as “I’m hearing a closed-ended question, what’s the impact to the dialogue and team?”

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    SarahDavisDubai

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    I don’t think there is any harm in asking a closed question even early on in the session but it depends on the sophistication of the group and the impact of the question. I don’t think the coach should necessarily intervene because it is closed. I’m not sure how the individual participant is going to feel if we intervene for 1 closed question and we may loose the momentum of the group by doing so (particularly early on). There would be a different impact if a lot of closed questions had been asked or if the question is for the group as a whole or one specific individual in the set who asked the previous question.

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    DrBea

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    In terms of the closed question – closed questions have a place – and is actually used intentionally in this scenario. The challenge here is the participant choose to make a statement and disguise it as a question, by asking “do you agree?”

    After asking the 3 standard questions:
    How are we doing as a team on a scale of 1 – 10?
    What are we doing well?
    What can we do better?

    If no one brought this situation up, I would ask –
    How curious are our questions?
    Why is it important that we ask curious questions?
    How can we reach a deeper level of curiosity with our questions?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Stephanie

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    A couple of thoughts – if the participant turned to me as the coach with that question, I would turn it back to the group and say, “What do others think?” If the participant asked that question to the team, I would first see how the team responds, and ask a question during reflection like, “What is the quality of our quesitons so far?”…..and “Are we building on each other’s ideas/quesitons?”

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    Han Ee

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    Recognising the position of the person and the team dynamics would be important factors to consider before intervention or not.
    Another approach to take would be:
    “What are some other ways to reframe the question being just asked?”
    This is to allow team members to unveil their own assumptions and perceptions of the prevailing conversation.
    Using their response as a basis and seeking their response, it would then become clearer how the team can improve their performance and deliver actions.

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    YANGBAODONG

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    As a coach, I think ,the question:”do you agree?” is a closed question. The challenge here is the participant choose to make a statement and disguise it as a question, So I will ask the team: what the quality of our asking question process? what are we doing well and How can we doing better?

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    leocastillo

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    If it were a one-time occurrence, I could let it go. If it is habitual, then it’s a good learning moment on asking questions. in my intervention I’ll ask “I notice that there are a number of closed questions being thrown to the group. What are the BENEFITS of closed questions?” From there, “what are the DISADVANTAGES of closed questions?” And then, “At this point in our session, how much of a mix between closed and open questions would most benefit our discussion?”

    If I find it necessary, I will use the opportunity for benefits and disadvantages of OPEN question too before I ask about the mix.

    Leo

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