Scenario: Closed Question

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

Early in the process a participant asks a closed question.

Tags: Action Leaning, Action Learning Coach, WIAL, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk

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Comments (4)

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    Amanda Bowman

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    It depends on how the question is answered and whether it is built on in the following question. However, if it stops the group gathering information or understanding the problem/gain clarity then it may merit an intervention. If so, I might ask the What are we doing well and then is there anything we could be doing even better and if this doesn’t come up, then I would ask specifically about the quality of questions and the impact of that on the group and if it is valuable for the problem presenter.

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    Janice Loh

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    If it is early in the process, I would let the team continue asking questions. If the team continues with open ended questions, I will not intervene at all. However, if the team continues asking closed ended questions, I would intervene by asking the group, how are we doing on the quality of the questions being asked by the team so far, areas we have done well and areas that we can improve on and go round the table for response.

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    Sumaia Thomas

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    First of all, I would make sure if he/she intended to ask a closed question. “Is this question meant to be a close or an open question? Secondly I would ask the group how effective this type of question is at the beginning of the session?”How helpful this type of question is to find out the real problem at this stage?”

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    Nanda Oomen

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    Because the closed question is asked early in the process, I would not intervene immediately. The group and its individuals must have the opportunity to learn. The self-correcting ability of the group may first do its job. If that fails after a number of (precious) minutes or the individual does not correct himself, I intervene by having the group think through a question about the nature and quality of the questions asked and the effect of this.

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