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

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Comments (17)

  • Avatar

    Edwin Sim

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    I will use the following follow-up questions:

    1) What are the advantages of closed questions?
    2) What are the disadvantages of closed questions?
    3) What other types of questions are available that the team can use?
    4) How can the teams make use of such questions?

    edwin@ 5hue.com

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  • Avatar

    Emma O.

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    If the group is actually not asking closed questions and the speaker misunderstood my question, I would think that someone would actually correct the person out of habit (e.g. She asked what we were doing “well.”) before I could follow up. But if they were truly asking closed questions, I like Edwin’s follow-up questions. I would also ask how the closed questions were affecting the team’s use of the Action Learning process. I might also ask them to consider how they might elevate continued conversation staying true to the rules of the Action Learning process.

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    Cleo Wolff

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    I also agree with Edwin’s reply. Excellent! It contains the main points I would ask as well. Maybe I could contribute putting an one more question: How can we practice the art of listening to the other’s view in a more deep way besides answers as Yes or No?

    Reply

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    Garry Luxmoore

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    Great responses above and I might perhaps add to that by asking the group, “what is the impact on the group of asking just closed questions?” and then ask “How appropriate are closed questions at this stage of the action learning process”. “What options do we have apart from closed questions?”

    Reply

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    Dr. Kavita Sethi

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    I agree with Emma and Edwin. While Edwin’s questions are comprehensive, I might want to start with the third question and then depending on the responses segue to the other questions. Thanks Edwin for adequetly summarising the questions for us 🙂

    Reply

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    Chander

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    Edwin’s excellent third question “What other types of questions are available that the team can use?” is a good start to encourage team members to consider other type of questions to achieve its intended purpose. Alternative a response like ” So team how are the quality of questions helping us moving forward?”. (If we want to explore further options, insightful thoughts and needing more information)

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    Sabreena Andriesz

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    I would ask what Gary said, which is to ask about the impact of closed questions on the group. I would then ask, what is the purpose of asking closed questions.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sabreena Andriesz

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    I would ask the impact question that Gary asked followed by, “What is the purpose of asking closed questions?”, and then, “If that is the case, what would you say differently?”

    Reply

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    Chjames

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    I agree with the previous responses, particularly if the group was in an earlier divergent stage of the problem solving process where closed questions are generally less helpful. If they were in a later more convergent stage, like Garry’s response, I would ask, “How are these questions helpful for the group given the stage of problem solving we are in?” or “What do they help the group accomplish?”

    Reply

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    Sanjay Mehta

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    I agree with Edwin. I would leave it to the team to figure out what the impact of closed questions are to the discussion. Similarly, I would ask the whole group:

    1. What is the impact of asking closed questions?
    2. What other types of questions can we ask the team?
    3. How would these other types of questions help the team?

    Reply

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    David Troupe

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    My contribution might sound like: “How might our learning be deepened by using open-ended questions?”

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    Dee Handyside

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    I would say “Do all the team agree that you are all asking closed questions” – and get them to respond Yes or No individually.

    Then I’d say “So what benefits are you getting from closed questions in this session?” followed by “Do you feel that by also using open questions may assist the problem presenter get to a solution?”

    I’d then say, “Bearing that in mind, who would like to ask the next question” – that way I would have placed the idea of using open and other types of questionning in this session and focused all on why they are there – to help the problem presenter.

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    Vishruta Mattu

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    I would say, “what is the impact on the team when closed questions are asked?” “what does the team want to do about it?” (followed by “what is the difference that asking open ended questions could make?” if required)

    Reply

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    Jill Bayly

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    I really like all the responses above.

    I might be tempted to add:
    “What is the trade off for using closed questions” and
    ‘What reward is the team currently experiencing by using closed questions?'”

    Reply

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    DrBea

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    I guess this was a trick question – since my question was what are we doing well, I would ask the person – Is that something we are doing well?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Daniel Belet

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    May I suggest another way of dealing with thistricky issue with a more nuance oriented question : To what extent do you think we are doing well ?

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  • Avatar

    WANGPEIJIE

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    I ask the team member: what’s type of our asked questions? More open question or closed question? what shall we do next?

    Reply

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