Scenario: Multiple Responses

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

Lots of statements are made in response to a question that was posed to everyone.

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

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Comments (9)

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    Kimberly Johnson

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    As long as everyone is addressing the question that was posed I would let the team go forward. No need to intervene.

    If they are not all in response to the question, I would ask, “What question are you answering?”

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    Rachel Wang

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    There could be different scenarios:
    1. If the question is raised during problem framing phase, and there are comments may impact the consensus, I will intervene after everyone gets chance to response to confirm the progress on problem statement.
    2. If the team continues posting comments instead of asking new question, I will intervene to let them know my observation and ask about impacting if stopping question.

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    Gurpreet Bhatia

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    As long as the statements are concise, relevant to the question and people are not over-talking each other, I will not intervene.

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    Misbah Maqsood

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    As far as the statements are in response to the question posed, i will not intervene. If the statements made are not in response to the question posed, i will intervene and ask “What question are you answering to?”
    Also if the statements to the question posed, are being made for a significant amount of time, i will intervene and ask,” Now who has the next question?”

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    Romila Chopra

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    As an action learning coach I need to be mindful of the ground rules. As long as the statements being made are in response to the question being asked , I will not intervene. However , if the statements being made are not on point , I would intervene with the the question ” What question are you answering? “. If the statement is bringing in a different perspective , i would intervene with ” That’s a great idea , Could you put that in form of question ? ”
    If I think that similar statements are being made , I would intervene with ” Who has the next question ? “

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    Christophe GARS

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    If the multiples statements are all focused on the question, I won’t say anything.
    If the statements refer to different things out of the question topic, I would intervene by asking” What is your question ?” to the poser and “What is your answer to this question ? ” to the members who answered something which was not linked with the question.

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    Alexandra Shevchenko

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    If participants provide answers one by one moving the problem solving process forward, I won’ interfere and continue to observe. If I notice that there are active and passive participants, I will ask:
    • How are we doing as a team?
    • Why do you think it is important to get answers from each participant?
    • What are we going to do about it?
    • Who will ask the next question?
    If answers to the problem holder’s questions sidetrack from problem solving process, I will ask:
    • What do you think, whether you really answering the question asked?
    If they say “No”, I will ask (both team and a problem holder)
    • What further team’s actions would be most productive?
    In addition, if team members provide multiple simultaneous answers in a spontaneous way, I will ask:
    • How would you describe the effectiveness of a process?
    • What are you going to do about it?
    • Who will ask the next question?

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    Mark Kookushkin

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    • I would find a solution for this case based on the AL Ground Rules: “Statements can only be made in response to questions and anyone can ask and answer questions”.
    • If participants’ answers are in line with the questions asked, I will continue to observe
    • If answers sidetrack from the questions asked, I’ll ask: “What question are you answering right now?”
    • If participants speak out at once, I’ll ask: “How are we doing as a team?” and then (if situation doesn’t change) – express my observations about what’s going on.
    • If answers appear to be multidirectional, which makes team disoriented, I’ll ask: “How are we doing as a team?” and after short discussion: “What actions could be most productive for the team?” One of the probable options for this case is (based on my AL coach experience) – minimize number of questions “all to all” by focusing on targeted (to particular person) questions.
    • After any action (decision) of a team, I ask a question: “Who will ask the next question?”

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    Alexander Belov

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    I would ask a question: “Colleagues! What question are you answering right now?” If team members clearly repeat initial question, I’ll ask: “How does it help the team?” If I get responses like “We are exploring an issue and we do have something to say”, I will proceed with observations.
    If team members can’t recall initial question (despite many answers made before), I’ll remind a rule: “Statements can only be made in response to questions”. Then I will invite the team to start asking questions.

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