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 (13)

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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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    Kimberly Johnson

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    I believe it is important to set the tone right away. I would ask “Did you mean that to be a close ended question?” I like to ensure they follow the rules at the beginning so that they get used it and become more aware for the future.

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    Karla VERSOLATO

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    I would ask the group, how important is it to use open-ended questions? And after you answered … I would ask another question: How can the group support everyone in building this goal?

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    Jos Martens, MBA

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    As an Action Learning coach, I do not immediately undertake action but I will monitor the session’s progression. This sort of conduct may be grounded in inexperience as in practice, man is inclined to ask more closed-ended questions than is effective. The team-member is therefore given a chance to better himself together with the team by his or her own volition. If that does not work, I will make use of the right timing to ask the intervening question: what is the quality of our questions? Furthermore a closed-ended question can be asked to uncover very specific facts and details to determine the true nature of the problem. This can be a legitimate question during the session but it may be too early to raise such questions at the start of a session.

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    Jeroen van der Ven

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    When a closed question is sometimes asked, I will not intervene as a coach. Certainly not at the beginning. However, this also depends on the responses to the questions that are given. When asking closed questions takes the upper hand during the process, I will make an intervention as a coach.

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    Kera Winburn

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    I think it takes a little assessment of where the team is. However, I would be inclined to ask “did you mean for that to be a closed question?”

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    Maria Acker

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    As the coach, I would intervene and ask if the participant meant to ask a closed ended question. If the team member did then the group has clarity, if they did not, it provides an opportunity for the team member to reflect on their question and rephrase it as an open-ended question.

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    Caroline d'ESTEVE

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    At this early stage of the process, I wouldn’t raise this point to encourage the participant to express their ideas. Asking a close-ended question once is not a real problem. However, if they asked a close-ended question again i would notice this point and invite them to formulate an open-ended question and eventually i would invite the other participants to help them to rephrase their question.

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    Archirawish Pakchotipong

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    Team Members allowed to asking questions, I would let the team continue asking questions until someone showed close question pattern.

    Then I As the coach, I would intervene and ask their team
    “What is an our questions?, Open or Close?”
    “Then the quality of our questions how impact to your team?”
    “What are team decide to the next action?”

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    jitra dudsdeemaytha

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    If a participant almost use closed questions in early session, I will ask by using SID technique,
    “During XX minutes, have you heard more opened or closed questions?”
    “If we do continue asking with closed question, what will happen in the next XX minutes?”
    “What could you do better in asking questions?”

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