Scenario: TMI

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

A participant responds to the question they were asked and continues on with additional information that is no longer answering the original question.

 

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (22)

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    Paul

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    As an ALC I would intervene by asking the originator of the question – did ‘so and so’ answer the question you had? followed by ‘what is the next question?’

    if the situation is reoccurring, I would intervene by asking the team ‘I have observed..’, ‘did anyone else..?’, ‘what is the effect of this?’ followed by ‘what the team can do to improve?’

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    lyeyk

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    I would intervene quickly to check with the question owner whether the question been answered. Follow by checking with the speaker whether the information offered has to do with replying to the question.

    Though this quick intervention does not warrant learning, however, it send a clear message that AL coach will enforce the ground rules.

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    Scott Rolph

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    My tendency is to want to leave it alone and hope the team will manage it. I might also bring it up during a check-in with one of the following questions:

    – How are we doing at keeping our answers to the questions that are being asked?

    or

    – How are we doing at making sure questions guide our exploration of the problem [solution]?

    With that said, if the group did not have previous experience with action learning or if there were a pattern of this, I would intervene with a simple question:

    – Are you answering a question that was asked? or Are you still answering the question that was asked?

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    Michele Hermans-De Craan

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    As an action learning coach I would make an intervention and ask the group how they are doing. I can ask if they still are going well. Depending of their answers I can ask their attention for the content of the additional information and ask if this information is important for the problemsolving.

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    Kelly

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    I would make an intervention and ask ” what question is on the table right now?”

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    Timothy Low

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    As AL coach, I would watch to see whether it is a once off or a repeated action in the group.
    When it happens again, I would intervene and remind the team with the ground rule that staements only to questions asked.

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    Maggie Murphy

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    I would wait to see if the group handles it themselves, then if not, ask, what question is on the table?

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    Porntip Jakwichtamrong

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    As an action learning coach, I’d intervene and ask the participant “What question are you answering?” Then remind the team of the ground rules.

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    ChauChyiTai

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    Since the participant has answered to the question, I would leave it to the team to manage or to response to the “extra” for a while and observe how does it go …..

    Now if it has gone off the tangent for a while, I will ask the questioner how well her question has been answered by the team so far?

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    Wai Ling Ho

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    If it is a recurrence or the deviation has taken more than a minute, I will intervene by asking that participant, “How does your last statement relate to the question which you were being posed?” I will then address the team to ask, “If questions asked are not answered succinctly and to the point, how might that affect the team’s ability to solve the problem by the end of this session?”

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    Maggie Murphy

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    Wai, I like your impact question. I offer coupling Scott’s question: How are we doing at keeping our answers to the questions that are being asked? with “how does this affect the team’s ability to solve the problem by the end of the session.”

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    Adam Walz

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    As an AL coach my first instinct is to simply take note of this behavior, but refrain from a direct intervention. I would first want to see if the same person or other persons develop a habit of ‘over answering’ before taking action. In my opinion, there is a risk of the coach slipping into a facilitator mode where the coach is directly calling out individuals on behavior vs allowing the group to self-monitor. During the next check-in, I would be interested to hear from the group on what’s working, not working, and if they have seen any patterns emerging. I like the idea of coming back to the ground rules and asking to what extent we are honoring the intention of leading with questions and not slipping back into more comfortable advocating positions.

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    SarahDavisDubai

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    It would depend if its a one off or a consistent behaviour either individually or throughout the group. I would first check in individually and ask if the question has been answered. If the behaviour persists I would either ask the group how they think they are doing answering questions asked or check in how well we are doing as group.

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    DrBea

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    I would immediately step in and ask the responder – What question are you answering at this moment?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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      Colleen Carruthers

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      Love DrBea’s style – crisp and immediate – why allow bad habits to go unchecked

      Reply

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    Ignatius Sharma

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    I would ask the team “what can possibly happen if we give statements not related to the question’?

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    vganesh

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    I would definitely intervene and ask the question raiser, whether the questions are answered?

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    Tom Janiak

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    I would ask the “question-asker” if the question has been answered. Then I would ask hte answering person to put the rest of his utterance in the form of a question 🙂

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    ramgopalan

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    I would immediately intervene and ask the responder which question s/he was answering. This is clearly a break from the ground rules and in a great learning opporunity

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    Dennis Sanko

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    I would ask the responder: “How does this additional information contributes to the problem that the team is working on?”

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    Wendy Teo

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    I would observe and hear how relevant the additional information is to the problem. If the team members are all listening attentively to the relevant information, I might just let it run for a few minutes.

    If the additional information is obviously irrelevant, I would intervene and ask the person who posed the question: “Ms/Mr …., has your question been answered?” If they answer is yes, then I would follow up by asking “Who has the next question?”. That way, the session will move on.

    If the same situation repeats, I would record this down and highlight this during team learning reflection. I would ask the team “How they think of situations when members continue to offer a lot of information during the session?” The idea is to allow the team to see the impact of members dominating discussion and thereby reducing opportunities for others to questions.

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    Joseph

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    I will wait a bit to see whether the team can self rectify, otherwise I will ask “what question are you answering?” Even though the team self rectified this, I will take a note for learning sharing.

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