Scenario: Closed Question

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: You are working with a team new to Action Learning. The first questions is a closed question.

Tags: Action Learning, ActionLearning Coach, Team Coach, WIAL, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk

Trackback from your site.

Comments (30)

  • Avatar

    Anneke Broekroelofs

    |

    I would ask the group ‘What is the difference between a closed question and an open-ended question?’ After discussing the difference I would ask the person who asked the first question: ‘Did you intend your question to be a closed question of would you like to rephrase that as an open-ended question?’

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Alex Hoang

    |

    I will intervene with the question: “How would you rate the quality of the question? (on a scale of 1 to 10; 1 – poor, 10 – excellent)”. It is not difficult for the team to realize that they are using closed-end questions and rate a low score. And the next question is “What can we do better?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Brittany Hartman

    |

    I would ask the person asking the question if the question was supposed to be close ended to open ended. If open ended, I would make sure that the question was answered as such. If the closed ended questions continued, I would, at the break as the team the quality of the questions being asked to help them realize the questions being presented could be better if open ended questions were asked.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Alicja Pawlaczuk

      |

      I would let the team keep asking questions and observe, if all questions are closed, I would intervene, with the question ‘team, how are we doing in terms of the quality of questions’, ‘what can we do better in constructing questions?’
      but if the next questions are a mix of open and closed I would leave it to the ‘scheduled intervention’ and discuss ‘what can we do better in posing powerful questions’ and ‘why open questions are important’? only then.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Joop van Nierop

    |

    In my role as Action Learning I will intervene because I see a closed question as an important learning moment at the beginning of the session. Of course I’ll do this in a positive way by raising my hand and telling the group that there is a usefull learning moment direct at the beginning of their session. Then I Iwill ask the group what they noticed to he first question and I’ll give them a minute to rethink and react. If there is a groupmember that noticed the closed character of the question I will ask him or her and the group what closed questions means for the creative proces in the group. If the outcome of the questions and answers brings the group to the conclusion that open-end questions are important for a usefull problem formulation I wil continue. And suggest the group to practice open-end questions in this session.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ulla Willner

    |

    If this was a clarifying question (due to perhaps not catching what the problem presenter said due to accent or misunderstanding), I might let it slip and wait a little to observe if it is a trend. If just a closed binary question, I would intervene and ask if the person could reframe it as an open question in order to set an early learning example and prevent bad habits.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Elisabetta Galli

    |

    The importance of questions is normally commented at the beginning of the session, but my experience is that asking open questions instead of closed or leading ones is quite difficult for the team members at the beginning at requires a little bit of “trial and error”. In the situation described in the scenario I would lead back the team to the importance of asking open questions and would invite the person to re-verbalize the question in a different way. These “pedagogical” moments are normally very well accepted by the group that can get more and more familiar with the methodology through these reflections.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Kristi Alcouffe

    |

    I would say…”I’m just going to intervene here. (X), how might you turn that closed question into an open question in order to offer the opportunity of an even better answer?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Doreen Wei

    |

    I would not intervene at once. If the following questions were also closed questions, I would ask the team, “ I observed a number of closed questions. Did anyone else notice that?”“ What’s the impact on the team?”“How do we make sure that we ask open questions?”
    Then, I continued to observe. If someone asked another closed question, I would ask him, “What would you say if you changed that question to an open question?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Vo Huu Loc

    |

    I will intervene by asking the team: ‘What is the difference between a close-ended question and an open-ended question?’ then “What would happen if our team asking only close-ended questions?” And after the feedback of the team, I will ask the person asking the first question: ‘Did you intend to ask a close-ended question or would you like to paraphrase that to be an open-ended question?’

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sheela Chandran

    |

    I would not intervene so early I let them continue to ask questions as it is part of the learning however if the trend of questions continued to be closed ended then I would intervene by asking the “Team how are we doing as a group in terms of the quality of questions being asked? What types of questions could we ask to gain deeper clarity? Who has the next question?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Benjamin Solomon

    |

    I would say, “That is a very interesting question. How might you open it up some? What might it sound like as an open question? What are some of the advantages to asking open questions?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    stephanie parry

    |

    I would wait to see if it is an isolated instance. If the next question is closed too, I would ask the person if they could rephrase that as an open question. After that I would watch closely the people who have asked closed questions to see if it is their pattern and in the first planned intervention I would make sure that I ask the group what they think about the types of questions they are asking and how they can make their questions as powerful as possible.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Nguyen Viet Hai

    |

    Because this team is new to action learning, so I would let the group experience first, I would not intervene at this time but allow the group to continue the discussion.
    If within the next 5-10 minutes the group continues to ask close ended questions I will intervene by prompting the group about the type of question the group is using in the last 5 minutes, the quality of the questions and how to improve the quality of the question or base on the last close question to ask the members to change that question into an open ended question. If need to do the intervention I would use a positive phrase when starting my check in. Example – let’s take some time for learning, and I could ask the below question:
    “Hi Team, In the past five minutes, what kind of questions have we mostly been using?
    “What is the impact on the team if there are to many close ended question ?”
    “what could we do better?”
    “Did you intend that to be a closed question or would you like to rephrase it as an open question?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Joke van Sliedregt

    |

    I would wait to see if it was a one-off or if it is more common. If there were many more closed questions after this first question, I would intervene. I tell the team a heard a number of closed questions and ask “how could asking open-ended questions help us?” I hope this helps my team to ask more open questions. Then I ask “who would like to ask the next question?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Chanchira Phetburi

    |

    For the first question is the closed question, I personally will wait and see. If I see it as a pattern such as 3 -5 closed questions continuously, then I will intervene by ask the team – for example “What do you think about the quality of our question int he past 5 minutes?” or “What kind of question do we have for the last 5 question?”. Then I will continue ask the team the impact of closed question – ” What would happen if we still continue asking the closed question?” or “What is the impact if we continue ask the closed question?” and continue ask the team what the decision – ” What can we do better?” or “If we would to help the problem presenter, what should we do?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Taissa Melo

    |

    I would not intervene so early, If there were many more closed questions after this first question, I would intervene. “Team how are we doing as a group in terms of the quality of questions being asked?
    Why the quality of question is important?
    How we will improve the quality of our questions?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Mihaela M

    |

    As an Action Learning Coach I will say:
    “Did you intent to ask a closed questions?” And if the answer is No, I will ask “ How can you reword it / or rephrase it as an open-question?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Thuy Nguyen thi Bich

    |

    At first, I would ask the team “What is the type of the first question?” If the team knows what it is, I will question them its impact to discussion process. If they are unable to distinguish different question type, I propose “What is the closed question? “And “What is the opened question?” If the answers may go wrong, then the following clarification: “What is the answer for the closed question?”, “What is the initial word for opened question?” and “How do you convey from closed to opened question?” This is a propitious moment for the team learning.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Phuc Nguyen

    |

    I will intervene by asking “Let me ask you all, what is your view about a power question or a quality question?”, next “What do you think about the recent question, on the scale of 1 to 10, 1-poor, 10-excellent”, “what we can do better?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Trang Le Thi Quynh

    |

    As an action learning coach, in this case, I will intervene with the team and ask: “how could you rate the quality of the question on a scale of 1 -10, one is poor, and ten is excellent.” If the team realized how they make a closed question, I would ask, “Who will have the next question?”. If the team rate mark high, I will intervene by the question, ” hello team, I observed some closed question. Did anyone else notice that? What would happen if our team continuously ask the closed question?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Achmad Zakaria

    |

    im going to wait couple more questions OR see the reactions
    If it’s not getting anywhere after 5 minutes i will intervene:
    Team, how’d you answer if the questions asked is (example) yes/no question?…..
    Do you feel it will get you to the problem solving?…
    What other way to ask questions?…

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Natalie Sio

    |

    I’d be observing the group for the first 3-5minutes and see if this is a recurring pattern. If yes, then as I do my first intended or “scheduled intervention”, I will specifically ask what is the quality of our questions? How is it impacting our group? lastly I can ask: What happens if we continue to ask close questions or what can we do differently?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Janaina Gameiro Arbucias

    |

    I would ask the person if he/she intended to ask a closed or an open question. If the answer is “Closed”, I would then ask the team: “what is the answer for a closed question?” If the answer is open question, I would then ask: “how can you restate your questions as an open ended one?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Naraiana Lessa

    |

    I would observe how the session would flow. In case the next questions, in a row, were also closed, I would ask the group what other kind of questions could be asked to explore the problem.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Inthira Munion

    |

    The first question asked to be a closed question is acceptable. I shall not intervene immediately and cut the flow. I would intervene with SID Intervention Model if the second question were to ask the same way. Then, I would intervene as I could spot the learning opportunity for the whole team. Questions: Team, I noticed the same type of questions being asked, what is happening? How will the quality of the solution be impacted? What can we do to improve? After getting responses from the team, I shall proceed with “Who has the next question?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Vien Nguyen

    |

    As an Action Learning Coach I would use SID and say to the team:
    1. I observed a number of closed questions. Did anyone else notice that? (Situation)
    2. What is the difference between a closed question and an open-ended question? (Let them discuss for about 1- 2 minutes)
    3. What’s the impact on the Team if the first questions are closed ones? (Impact)
    4. How do we turn the closed questions into the open questions?” (Do better)
    5. Who has the next question?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Uracha Poopakdee

    |

    If I notice that the team has 3 closed questions, I will begin to intervene. I noticed that the team had used the closed ended questions 3 times. If the team continues to use the closed-ended question, How does the team think that will affect it? What kind of questions will the team decide to ask?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ngoc Nguyen Thi Kim

    |

    I will intervene with the questions:
    1. How do you evaluate the quality of this question?
    2. What will happen if our team ask the close questions? What will we do better?
    Then I will ask the participant Can you turn this closed question into an open question. When he/she responds, I will ask who has the next question?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    TL Wang

    |

    I will intervene and ask: Have you observed that we are asking more open-ended questions or closed-ended questions? How does this bias toward more closed-ended questions affect the team? How can we ensure that the team asks open-ended questions next? How do you move to open-ended questions for a closed question?

    Reply

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.