Scenario: Multiple Responses

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Lots of statements are made in response to a question that was posed to everyone.

 

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (14)

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    ChauChyiTai

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    They are following rule number one, and I will not intervene and continue to observe for learning opportunity to surface out.

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    Peter Cauwelier

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    Agree here. Since the question was asked to everyone, they all have the right to answer. I would look out though to make sure that each team member’s statements are still an answer to that original question … If they would go off in a completely different direction that is no longer an answer to the original question, I would intervene quickly by asking “Are you still answering A’s question ?”

    Reply

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    Jansen Chua

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    I would agree to observe and allow the group to share their statements in response to the question asked and at the appropriate moment ask who has the next question.

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    michaelmadera

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    I also agree, this is specifically mentioned in the AL script: “A question may generate many responses from members of the group.”

    If I felt it was appropriate to offer an “opportunity for learning intervention”, depending on the nature of the statements, I might say: “I am observing many statements generated by that one question, and I am curious: what new questions are coming up for us?”

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    Tom Janiak

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    Agree with ChauChyiTai and Peter Cauwelier. The fact that so many statements are made in response to a single question may mean something. I like to think of a coach as a mirror of the group.. I would then (after a moment) do a standard intervention and then ask:

    1. I have observed that…
    2. What impact does this have on the team?
    3. and then, depending on whether the impact is favorable or not: how can we make sure we do it in the future? or How do we want to handle such situations in the future?

    What do you guys think?

    Reply

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      Will

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      Tom, I agree and I would continue on the basis that it was posed to everyone, and there is possibly rich flow of learning from allowing the team to share statements. I would observe what happens: e.g. for any deviance from the question asked, or for one or more trying to dominate. Depending on what I observed, I would intervene, either:
      • to check what is the question that has been asked.
      • ask whether we are leveraging the resources in the group fully
      • to ask for observations on what happened and its impact on the group
      • to see if there anymore statements in response to the question
      • or to move the group on with: ‘Who has the next question?’

      Reply

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    Ignatius Sharma

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    Since the question was asked to everyone, the team can share their statements in response to the question. I would observe for any learning opportunity. If they no longer are answering the question then I can ask: “Are there anymore statements in response to the question”? Followed by asking the team “Who has the next question”?

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    vganesh

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    I would allow the the statement if it directly relates to the questions posted. If it is irrelevant, I would intervene by asking “are you giving statement based on the question posted?

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    PeterSeah

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    Lots of Statements in response to a question asked may mean that a good question was asked to draw out the participants’ responses.

    I will not do anything yet but observed how the conversation goes and also how participants have been practicing their leadership skills.

    I will wait for the right moment to intervene if needed.

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    ramgopalan

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    As long as the ground rules are being followed and people are answering the question that was asked, then I would allow the discussion to progress.

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    Dennis Sanko

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    If all responses are heard by all the team members, are constructive and all address the question, I would not intervene.
    If several members would be answering simultaneously, disregarding responses of other team members, I would ask: “How does disregarding/not listening to the answers of the team members impact the group dynamics?”

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    DrBea

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    Great responses! Yes they are following the rules – hence I would do nothing.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Joseph

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    It is good to see members are responding to question and they are following the ground rule. I agree with you all and I will do noting.

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    Barry Rush

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    I would let them continue to answer but observe are they all answering the question that was asked or are there rabbit trails. Yesterday in the group I was with, there were so many statements going ostensibly in answer to the question, but I intervened and asked, “What question are you answering right now?” It worked well. The group located the question and refocused on it.

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