Scenario: Self Question

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

A member of the team asks you – is it ok if I ask myself a question?

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (12)

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    Aisya Hamid

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    Technically, there is nothing wrong if they want to ask themselves a question since the rule is “anyone can ask anyone questions”. At the same time, i see this as a learning opportunity. What are the possibilities that this question will generate great insights or even solutions if its positioned where everyone can build on it. I will drive the team on that angle.

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    ina.b.teves

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    I would ask: what is the first ground rule? If it becomes a habit, it could be an opportunity to ask: how are we doing as a group? what are we doing well as a group? what could we do better?

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    Irene Chia

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    I will ask the team:
    1) What impact is there to the team when someone asks himself/herself a question?
    (Depending on the reply, I will next ask)
    2) What would the group best reply to this question in order to help us learn while solving a problem?
    (Aim is to get the team to own their own answer to best serve themselves as learners)

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    DrBea

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    As was mentioned, there is no rile against it. However, I would ask – How curious are we being if we answer our own question? Why is it important that we be curious? How do we want to handle when someone would like to answer their own question?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    cherylchua

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    As the rule is “anyone can ask anyone question” thus it isn’t wrong for the team member who wanted to ask himself question. This might create better interactions for the team.
    However, I would still take this learning opportunity to ask the following question after team member has asked himself the question as below:
    1) What have we learnt about a question is posed to oneself?
    2) What are the pros and cons to that?

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    lumpking

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    “Anyone can ask a question of anyone at anytime, including the problem presenter.” This provides leeway for the problem present to ask the question As Coach, I would allow the question to be asked. If however, it seems to be disruptive to the process, then action should be deflected to the team, using the intervention questions, “How are we doing as a team so far?” or “In what ways are we asking the right questions?”

    I however keep thinking that there are many outcomes to this situation, for example, what if in allowing the question, the team realizes that the problem presenter was unclear about the initial problem? It is safe to say, whatever the outcome, it is best to have the group answer the following questions:

    “What is the impact on the group?”
    “What would the group like to do about it?”
    “What has the group learned about the situation?”

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    lpwooten

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    As an action-learning coach, I would not directly discourage the asking of questions to one self, but I would encourage the group to think about the pros and cons of this approach and the team culture they want to create. For example, how will this approach encourage group learning, the sharing the ideas, and the development of solutions? Also, another option is use the end of the session for self-reflection and carving time for introspective learning.

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    Barbara Brown

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    As others said, there is no rule against asking yourself a question. We would have to assume the person wants to do that because he/she has a statement they want to make. We could ask the group if they can help this person or if that is ok with the group. So maybe someone would ask, “Do you have an idea on this that you would like to share with us?” If the person does this regularly we would want to get the group to talk about this. Why did the person want to ask a question to herself? Maybe other group members are not asking enough questions or building off each others’ questions. Maybe they are not listening well enough to do this.

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    Vivien Reyes

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    If someone asks this question, ” I would ask the team, what is ground rule no. 1?” Because the rule states, anyone can ask anyone questions so in a rare case like that, it can apply that one can ask a question to himself. “What does the team think about asking oneself a question?”

    If however, this becomes a repetitive behavior and becomes disruptive, I would ask,”Team do we notice happening? What is the impact of asking question to oneself only? What could we do better?” I will do this to help the team find a way to ask each other questions

    At the reflection learning time, I would bring this up to ask, “What are some of the things we could learn from asking questions to oneself only?” I expect that they would bring out the pros and cons and what they have done to improve their level of discussion and engagement so that they would have asked each other questions rather than only reflecting and replying from one’s own question.

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    Barry Rush

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    I don’t mean to be simplistic, but I would just ask the group, “What is the impact on the team when someone asks themselves the question? ” Listen to their responses. Then, I would see if the team might need me to say, “Asking questions is a key in leveraging the collective IQ of the whole team and the one asking would do well to give the team first shot at answering in order to capture their insights. Then I’d ask, “What would the impact on the team be if the person engages the team first?”

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    Sungyeon Cho

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    I would say that it is technically okay because of the ground rule no.1 which is anyone can ask anyone questions. However, I would say the member who wants ask himself/herself a question, i.e. “Why don’t you ask the same question to the team first? After listening to the other members’ answers, then you can answer to your question.”

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