Scenario: PP Question

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

The problem presenter asks a question.

 

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (18)

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    ChauChyiTai

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    Depending on what question the PP asks. If it is a question on the clarity of the rules, then I would go through that again.

    Otherwise, I would remind the PP to state the problem she wants the team to help her with, and then open the time for questions to whoever right after that sharing.

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    Jim Carter

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    Surely that is fine?

    A statement can only be made in response to a question. Anyone can ask a question of anyone else.

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    Maggie Murphy

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    IS this a trick question? 🙂 I agree with Jim – any one can ask a question of anyone else. I also concur with ChauChiTai – if it is asked while presenting the problem, I would ask the PP to state the problem in 2 – 3 statements, thank the PP and ask “who has the first question?”

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    Scott Rolph

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    I would rejoice internally, as this is generally a process breakthrough.

    In my experience, the first part of a session is marked by participants solely asking questions directly of the problem presenter. Once the problem presenter asks a question of the group or a group member, there is generally a realization that questions may be asked of any participant. This opens new space for exploring the problem and drawing on different perspectives–it is an important moment in the process.

    The first question by the problem presenter enhances the group dynamic by distributing ownership of the problem exploration across the group. By opening a new range of questioning, it also increases the group’s capacity to work together.

    At the next check-in, I would ask, “How well are we doing asking questions of each other?” “Why is it important that we ask questions of each other?” “How can we make sure that we continue asking questions of each other?”

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    Heather Tan

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    I share the same experience as Scott. In almost all the new AL groups, at the onset,the questions tend to be directed at the PP. Frequently, I have to intervene as a Coach to open up the flow of questions.

    I would seize the opportunity to bring up the learning point of opening up the line of questioning to leverage on each other’s knowledge. “What do you noticed about the flow of questions?” “How did this helped the team to understand the problem?” “What can the team do to continue to leverage on each other’s knowledge and experience?”

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      SarahDavisDubai

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      Yes I agree with Scott and Heather. At the beginning of sessions questions seem directed at the PP so its great that they are asking a question. I will learn from their approach of using it as an opportunity for a learning intervention.

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    Popsy Kanagaratnam

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    Anyone can ask a question of anyone else. Statements are made in response to a question.

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    Wai Ling Ho

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    As long as the problem presenter has done his initial due diligence to establish clarity of the problem, it is perfectly fine for him to ask a question, since one of the ground rules states that “Anyone can ask anyone questions”.

    In many action learning sessions, questions are mostly directed to the problem presenter and it often requires the intervention of the coach to change the situation. I would be happy for the problem presenter to ask a question, as it allows him to tap on the experience and wisdom of the team members to seek clarity, cross-pollinate and formulate solutions.

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    DrBea

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    Yes this was a trick question. The problem presenter is always welcome to ask a question as are all members of the team. I would do nothing in the moment. But take a note for the next intervention to reinforce the great impact of the problem presenter asking questions as well as team members asking questions of each other.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Ignatius Sharma

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    That’s allowed as explained in the ground rules. Statements only in response to questions; anyone can ask anyone questions.

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    vganesh

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    Agreed Ignatius, the Golden Rule of the Thumb, “anyone can ask anyone a question”. I would allow the Problem Presenter(PP) to ask questions. By PP raising the question, it would creation a scenario where the PP could absorb more information and intelligence from the member of the team.

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    Tom Janiak

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    Great! Anyone can ask a question of anyone at any time!

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    Dennis Sanko

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    I completely agree with Scott, even thoug my first coaching session is scheduled next week, as a participant I observed many times that when PP starts asking questions this brings new energy and perspective to the entire team and I don’t remember it being counterproductive.

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    Wendy Teo

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    This is a great situation to have and is perfectly in line with the AL ground rule! Agree that in many AL sessions, the problem presenter is often bombarded with questions that he/she forgot that she can ask questions too.

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    Lan Nguyen

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    It’s great the PP asks a quesiton. If it is a group new to AL, I would observe if there is a change in the dynamic of the discussion when the PP begins to also ask questions and not just grilled by other members.

    If it is a significant, I would try to surface this in the debrief.

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    Marisol Lopez

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    A PP asking a question is allowed in action learning and is actually a good sign that everyone is engaged as an inquirer vs. the PP being in the “hot seat”.

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    Joseph

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    PP asking question is allowed and certainly welcome.

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    Kris

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    PP can definitely ask a question. In many AL sessions, the PP is often bombarded with questions. It is good that PP asks questions so that he/she can gain from other’s perspectives.

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