Scenario: Self Question

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

Someone answers their own question, without waiting for a response from anyone else.

Tags: WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (16)

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    MB

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    There are two possibilities I might try: 1. Ask the questioner if he/she would like anyone else to respond; or 2. ask the group about the impact of someone asking/answering their own question. I see this as an opportunity for the group to grow in that people in the group should be aware enough to intervene for themselves – this is something we could cover at the end in the reflection activity.

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    Cleo

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    I would ask: What is the first rule in a AL session? What is the impact when someone wants to answer his/her own question? What is the belief we carry when we answer our own question? Why is it important to ask for someone else rather than ask to ourselves? Who has the next question?

    My belief for those questions: when we answer our own question we are not interested to listen to the other. We are not curious to know what someone else thinks about a subject. I just want to ask a question in order to “obey” the rule, but my real intention is to say what I think about it. So, the probability to search for new insights diminishes considerably. That is why is so important to give space in our mind to know and learn from others.

    Cleo

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      Arend

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      My first intervention should be in the group. I stop the proceeding and ask at first to give a figure (mark or digit on a scale from 1-10) for how they are working together, secondly what goes well and thirdly what could go better” I expect to have got reflections on this matter.

      If not I would ask what the group thinks about the quality of the answers to the questions and secondly what could go better”.

      If this still does not bring a solution I will ask what they think of the open en creative problem solving process of the group.

      At last I will ask the person himself if he/she noticed that he/she gives answers to his own questions and what he /she should think about the impact this has on the group”
      I’ll ask the group to reflect on his/her answers.

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    Stan Oawster

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    I do this myself sometimes. Depending on the frequency and if it is stopping the discussion/learning. I’d call out what I’m seeing, “I’m noticing that after a question is asked and is then answered by the same person, it is stopping conversation. What’s the impact to the group and learning”? Share what I see. Bring it to the group. Step away.

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    SarahDavisDubai

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    I would probably take a hybrid approach of MB and Stan. The first time it happens take the softer approach of asking if the person wants an answer from the group. Then if the situation is repeated by the person or group ask the group what the impact is of doing this and ask what they want to do about it.

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    Sofia Georgiadou

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    I would intervene and ask: Team, what is the impact of answering our own questions without waiting for a response from the group? (to the participant) What is your question to the group?

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      zhangxi

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      except, I wan to try to ask the questioner: What is the first rule in a AL session? Do you think,whether we observe the first rule for everyone?

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    kconlon

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    This ia actually a discguised statement and can have the effect of causing other team members to modify or question their own responses before they respond. In the first instance I would ask the team member “What is the actual question that you would ike the team to answer?”. If it continued I would follow up by reminding the team of the AL rule about only asking questions and then ask “What is the impact on the team of questions being answered when they are being asked?” and then “How will the team ensure that questions are presented without impacting the response of other team members?”.

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    Han Ee

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    2 thoughts.
    The first is to observe if this is a recurring behaviour.
    Depending on the team dynamics and your rapport, the question is then when do you intervene if it becomes a recurring issue. If it it is a one-off, I might just make a mental note and watch out for it.
    The second is to intervene and explore the impact on team performance when such behaviours become common. The spirit of action learning is premised on inquiry-based conversations. Such behaviours go against this spirit. It’s tough to have group conversations when people are asking and answering their own question.

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    Stephanie

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    Initially, I would wait to see if it is a one time occurrence that doesn’t need to be addressed -and to see if the group catches it and calls it out. If it happens again and the group doesn’t call it out – I would ask the group more general questions to see if they identify it by reflecting. I would ask the group how they are doing following the ground rules…and how they are doing asking and answering questions. Depending on the responses, I may also pose a question to the team like, “What is the quality of input we are getting after a question is asked?”……or ” How is the group doing with responding to the questions being asked?”….. or “How would you describe the team’s participation at this point? ….. and then, “What are the impactsof X on the team?”

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    ShobaCh

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    All of us would have experience being a member before going for certification. I’ve been in sets where I’ve asked and answered my own question. However, I only did it once (ok maybe twice!) in a set.

    If I were coaching a team, I too would take a ‘wait and see’ approach. If this was a one-off occurrence, I would let it slide. However, if it started recurring, I would intervene. This is a behaviour that is important to arrest as we would not want other team members to adopt. Similar to early respondents eg Sonia, I too would ask something like “What is the impact of asking and answering one’s own questions?”

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    George Parrott

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    1. I would firstly ask the person: “X, who’s question is it that you are answering?”
    2. And if this behaviour carries on (either thesame person or another), I would follow up by asking: “What is the benefit to the group if a questioner asks his or her own question?”

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    Chris Gripton

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    Firstly from mty perspective as the coach, I would probably wait until this happened a second time before calling it th their attention( depending on the maturity of the group), and also depending on what happens with the conversation once the question was answered. If this was becoming a problem within the session I would put this back to the group intervening with “I have noticed that there has been answering of your own questions”, so what is the impact on the group of answering your own questions and “now what is the group going to do moving forward to stop this if it continues to happen”.

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    Scott

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    Similar to Stephanie’s post I would wait and see if it is a one off and the group self regulates, however if the behaviour continued I would intervene and aske the group What is the impact of group members answering questions they have asked the group ? If required I would make a second intervention and ask the group What can the group do to ensure they are tapping in on the diversity of the group?

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    DrBea

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    I would likely intervene as soon as it occurred, as it is a behavior we don’t want to encourage.

    I would start with the standard 3 questions – How are we doing as a team? What are we doing well? What can we do better?

    Assuming no one brought attention to this situation I would follow with:
    How curious are we being with our questions?
    Why is it important that we ask curious questions of our teammates?
    How can we be more curious with our questions?

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    Helen E

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    my priority intervention would be to ask who has the next question? when that question has been answered by a contribution, i could then ask how they believe they are doing as a team, on a scale of 1-10.hopefully the responses from this will touch on the fact that someone is’ hogging the stage’.the Group will be asked the benefits of tackling the problem together, and hopefully, there should be more contributions after this.

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