Scenario: Poignant Question

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: A particularly poignant question is asked. This is followed by a long silence.

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

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Comments (6)

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    Christian Manlapaz

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    Its an opportunity for an intervention. I would ask, what is the silence about? How is the question of the member reflecting on you or your work? What are possible scenarios that can happen if this question is not discussed. How will you move forward or if you have experienced a similar feeling or situation, how did you handle it?

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    Samantha Cinnick

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    One way I might intervene would be to say, “I noticed a long pause after that last question. What might it mean that there is silence after this question?” Then I would let the group answer why they think there was silence. I would then follow up with a “so what” and a “now what” question based on why the group thinks there is silence.

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    Aparna Jindal

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    Would anyone like to answer this question,would anyone like to highlight the benefits of finding answer to this question, will this question create a learning opportunities for the team, if the team gives positive response then ask now would anyone like to answer. If response is negative then would the group like to move on with another question?

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    Anurag Sharma

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    I would be comfortable with the long silence and allow it to linger for a reasonable period of time. If the silence persists I would ask the following questions
    1. (to the person at whom the question was directed) What’s coming up for you as a result of that question?
    And build further on the response I get.
    2. (to the group) What’s coming up for the group?
    3. (to the person who asked that question) In what ways did you suppose looking for an answer to that question would help in making progress towards solving the problem?
    4. (to all) What do we feel would be the best way forward from here?

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      Elodie Schwartz

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      Hi Sharma, I completely agree with allowing silence to linger for a reasonable period of time. But could you clarify if you would ask one of these questions you mentionned or all of them?

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    Saravanan Palaniappan

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    I would ask, “Team, what is going on? ”
    I would ask the team members to say out 2 things out of their upon reflecting on the poignant question and follow through the session.

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