Scenario: Firing Line

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: All of the questions are directed at the problem presenter. During the check-in the problem presenter says – “I feel like I am on a firing line.”  

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

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Comments (13)

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    Sean Reddell

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    I would use the standard sequence “What, So what and Now What? to get the group to identify a better approach. If the issue wasn’t addressed I’d perhaps try the alternate sequence and say “I’ve observed that all questions are still being directed to the PP. What is the impact of this on the team> and how do we want to handle it?”

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    Sungyeon Cho

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    I would intervene in the situation right away asking each member “How many questions did you ask?” and “How many answers did you give?” so that the team notice the imbalanced conversation by the many questioners and just one respondent, the PP. And then I would ask the team, “How could we overcome this imbalanced conversation?” I believe that these questions could have the team find out the way to make it better.

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      unri Babb

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      I quite like this one, I think having the group examine its own imbalances without overtly or expressly identifying where they were, but allowing the team to learn from the question posed by the coach is critical. Sungyeon Cho makes a useful point here, one I will add to my tool box.

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    marc rutter

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    I would ask, “what is the impact on our learning and quality of the solution if questions are only directed at the problem presenter?” As we continue, how do you want to address (name of problem presenter) concern?

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    Jeff Feldman

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    It’s great that the problem presenter raised this point with the group directly. I would invite the group to weigh in with what we may want to do to alleviate this. I would remind the group that anyone can ask a question of anyone else and ask what benefit might be gained by asking questions to other members of the group. I would also ask the problem presenter what questions they might like to ask of others in the group. I would keep an eye on this through the next round of questioning and raise the ask how the group feels we’re doing on it at the next check-in.

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    Denise Locke

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    By the problem presenter saying this it would seem perhaps like a plea for help from the coach. I would intervene and ask the team what is the impact on our problem solving if we only direct questions at one person. I would then ask the group what they think they can do better and explore those ideas before asking who has the next question and letting them move on.

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    DrBea

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    I would ask the problem presenter what they could do to alleviate this. (Hopefully they would realize they can ask questions)

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Francine van der Jagt

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    I would intervene before the check-in by saying the following: “I notice that all questions are directed to the problem presenter. Do you see the same? What is the impact of that to the team and to the process?”.
    If I were to miss the opportunity to intervene earlier I would ask (if no team member does): “What would you rather have? How can the team help you with that?”

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    guangwei zhou

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    I will intervene and say “I noticed that all of the questions were directed at the problem presenter. What is the impact of doing this?”
    The team will point out the impacts.
    And then I will ask”what can we do better?”

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    Michal Weyna

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    I would ask the group: How would you like to change the team discussion so that the problem presenter did not feel this way? If PP commits to ask questions more often I will support him/her by looking into his/her eyes while concluding the check-in with: “who has the next question?”

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    Stephanie Brown

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    I would remind everyone that “anyone can ask a question of anyone at anytime”.

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    Yoge Rajendra

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    Team, how we going to improve this situation?

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    Lois Parkes

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    I have certainly seen that in action learning sessions that I have facilitated. In such an instance, I would ask the group members, that apart from the fact the problem holder feels like he/she is on the firing line, what are other impacts of directing all the questions to the problem holder? I could also follow up by asking how might the group direct its future questions to help move towards solutions.

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