Scenario: Not asked

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

You ask the team – “What are we doing well?”, and get a response “We are asking all closed questions.”

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

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Comments (5)

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    Kirsty Foster

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    As coach, my response would be reactive to the situation in the group and the stage they were at – it might be beneficial for them to be asking closed questions, there again it may well not. As an overview I would ask feedback from each team member on what we are doing well, then ask how can we improve. If closed question asking is not enabling the group – a group member may well suggest something like asking more open questions, building on questions etc. If this is not suggested I may ask the group what type of questions would most enable the group as we continue working together as a third question asked (which build the triple loop learning!).

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    Aung Pye Tun

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    “We are asking all closed questions,” is definitely an interesting response to the question, “What are we doing well?” As a coach, I think I would first try to understand whether the response was meant to be a complaint out of frustration or the person who answered really believe that it was something the team was doing well. Be it a complaint or a genuine response, I would redirect the question back to the team by asking, “What about the rest of the team?” or “How could we do better?” My intention is to raise the awareness of the team and to help the team to learn about the power of questions?”

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    Paul Duncan

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    It is hard to imagine a scenario where everyone asking closed questions was “doing well”, but if that was the case I would either ask how are we doing on building on one anothers’ questions? Or simply asking “on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is high, how well are our questions doing in stimulating ideas and creating breakthroughs ?”

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    Nicole

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    As a coach, I will lead the team to reflect the quality of their questions and raise their awareness to ask more open questions. After asking the 3 standards questions, I will ask them the following questions:
    – in what situation we use closed questions
    – what other types of questions we can ask
    – what are the benefits of asking open questions
    – what are the better ways to ask for the next questions

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    Don Chan

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    When someone stated that the team was doing well by asking the closed-end question, I will follow up on the impact of asking closed-end question and the timing in applying this type of questions. Open end question may be theoretically doing well in knowing more information but closed end question can be more suitable to this group dynamics.

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