Scenario: Powerful Question

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: Someone asks a question that changes the depth and understanding of the true nature of the problem.

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

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Comments (13)

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    Joop van Nierop

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    In what stage is the discussion? How you already can know that a question goes beyond the depth and significance of the problem.
    But when you notice that the group experiences this, you at first can ask the person asking the question to formulate his / her question again.

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    Savath Kuch

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    As an action learning coach, I would intervene by asking the team what they think of the problem. I would ask what’s going well and what can be improved regarding the depth and understanding of the true nature of the problem. With this information and realization, I would let the team proceed.

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    Tomasz Pachoł

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    1. I wouldn’t like to interrupt group and stop it from benefiting from this useful question.
    2. During the summing up I would talk with the group What did this question do to them?
    What was unusual about this question that made such an impression. What would they need to ask this kind of questions.
    3. I would do intervention to to make the group realize how effective these kind of questions are.

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    Savin Oeun

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    Being as coach, I would intervene by asking “how can we do for deeper understand of nature of the problem?

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    Hua(Grace) Pan

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    In action learning, I believe in two things. 1)No question is stupid;2)The group has its wisdom. Under these believes, I would hold my judgement on this specific question. I would observe closely the discussion flow and then cut in with group reflection. There will several opportunities I can check on the impact of such a question during the group reflection. E.g., participants may bring it up about the impact of such a question by their own. Participants will be asked to write down the true problem statement in their mind, which can verify the impact of this question. Or I can offer my observation about what happened, and ask for their evaluation on the impact and ask for their suggestions.

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    Alberto

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    After the team has answered fully to the question without interruption, I would ask: “What has changed about our understanding of the nature of the problem ? – wait for answers – “What made this possible?” – wait for answers – “What have we learned about the quality of our questions?” – wait for answers –

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    Justyna Truchel

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    I would refrain from making any judgements whether or not the group is going in the „right” direction. I would give the group some time and I would trust the group process. The right questions and the right answers should come with time.
    If after some time (e.g. I have only 30 min until the end of the session) I noticed that the group instead of getting closer, is getting away from generating solutions directly supporting PP in his/her problem, I would intervene.
    I would ask PP if there is anything he/she needs from the group.
    In my opinion PP is the only person who can tell the group if his/her problem has been understood correctly. That means that PP can tell the group „I need more/less…”, „I’m looking for…”, „I’m interesed in solutions from the area of…”. And my role as an AL coach is to give PP an opportunity to ask the group for that.

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    Arlene McComie

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    As the AL Coach, I would allow the other members to respond to the question. I would intervene if I recognize that members of the team did not understand the significance of the question. I would ask the group “how the last question impacted their understanding of the problem?”. Then I would ask “if there was still consensus on the problem”. I will determine this by taking a poll. If there is consensus on the true nature of the problem, I would then ask, “who has the next question”. If there is no consensus, I would ask the member to take a minute to re-frame the problem in their own words. Once there is agreement, as the coach I would allow the group to continue the process through questioning. At the end of the session, I would also use this event as a learning opportunity of the impact of powerful questions on clarifying the problem and opening opportunities for creative solutions.

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    Kamila Sobel

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    As an action learning coach , I would make a process interventions.
    I would ask the sequence of questions – What?, So What?, Now what? – which can be useful in this situations obviously observable behaviors: what’s theirs opinion on this powerful question

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      Kamila Sobel

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      Being more detailed:
      Me as a Coach I would say as a process interventions. : “I’ve observed that Mr X asked a question . Did anyone else notice that?” (WHAT?)
      I assume answer “Yes.”
      Me as a Coach: “What’s the impact on the problem of this question?” (SO WHAT?)
      – answer of the group
      Me as a Coach: “How do we want to handle with it during our time together?” (NOW WHAT?)

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    jacinta Bailey-Sobers

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    I will allow the team members to respond to the question and to determine on their own accord whether the question is indeed of little or no relevance to the problem and at some strategic point, I will ask, ‘do team members believe that this question is helping toward a solution? If so, how?

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    Jinghui Gao

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    This is a powerful and good question, which has changed the depth and understanding of the question, and can trigger everyone’s thinking. In order to make learning and thinking happen and flow naturally without interruption, I will immediately record this question and everyone’s answers and reactions. In the later stage summary part, I will ask the member “what was the initiative purpose when you asked XXX just now?” I will also ask the team, “just XX asked a powerful question and changed the understanding and depth of the original question. This is a good example of asking questions. Have you seen? and what we have learned?”

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    Angela May

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    I would allow the team to respond to the question, and then try to determine if it has true meaning to discovering the problem/ issue. If it doesn’t , the I would follow up with asking: “What’s the impact of this question in regards to the problem?” Then follow up with asking: “Group, How would you like to handle this question in regards to our time with the current problem?” Then allow the group to either put the question on a side note and continue on asking questions regarding the current problem given. Or continue on asking questions regarding the current situation.

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