Scenario: PP Question Written by DrBea on March 30, 2015. Posted in WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: The problem presenter asks a question. Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning Trackback from your site. Comments (22) ChauChyiTai March 30, 2015 at 5:12 am | # Depending on what question the PP asks. If it is a question on the clarity of the rules, then I would go through that again. Otherwise, I would remind the PP to state the problem she wants the team to help her with, and then open the time for questions to whoever right after that sharing. Reply Jim Carter March 30, 2015 at 5:17 am | # Surely that is fine? A statement can only be made in response to a question. Anyone can ask a question of anyone else. Reply Maggie Murphy March 30, 2015 at 11:19 am | # IS this a trick question? 🙂 I agree with Jim – any one can ask a question of anyone else. I also concur with ChauChiTai – if it is asked while presenting the problem, I would ask the PP to state the problem in 2 – 3 statements, thank the PP and ask “who has the first question?” Reply Scott Rolph March 30, 2015 at 1:46 pm | # I would rejoice internally, as this is generally a process breakthrough. In my experience, the first part of a session is marked by participants solely asking questions directly of the problem presenter. Once the problem presenter asks a question of the group or a group member, there is generally a realization that questions may be asked of any participant. This opens new space for exploring the problem and drawing on different perspectives–it is an important moment in the process. The first question by the problem presenter enhances the group dynamic by distributing ownership of the problem exploration across the group. By opening a new range of questioning, it also increases the group’s capacity to work together. At the next check-in, I would ask, “How well are we doing asking questions of each other?” “Why is it important that we ask questions of each other?” “How can we make sure that we continue asking questions of each other?” Reply Heather Tan March 31, 2015 at 3:39 am | # I share the same experience as Scott. In almost all the new AL groups, at the onset,the questions tend to be directed at the PP. Frequently, I have to intervene as a Coach to open up the flow of questions. I would seize the opportunity to bring up the learning point of opening up the line of questioning to leverage on each other’s knowledge. “What do you noticed about the flow of questions?” “How did this helped the team to understand the problem?” “What can the team do to continue to leverage on each other’s knowledge and experience?” Reply SarahDavisDubai April 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm | # Yes I agree with Scott and Heather. At the beginning of sessions questions seem directed at the PP so its great that they are asking a question. I will learn from their approach of using it as an opportunity for a learning intervention. Reply Popsy Kanagaratnam April 2, 2015 at 3:14 am | # Anyone can ask a question of anyone else. Statements are made in response to a question. Reply Wai Ling Ho April 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm | # As long as the problem presenter has done his initial due diligence to establish clarity of the problem, it is perfectly fine for him to ask a question, since one of the ground rules states that “Anyone can ask anyone questions”. In many action learning sessions, questions are mostly directed to the problem presenter and it often requires the intervention of the coach to change the situation. I would be happy for the problem presenter to ask a question, as it allows him to tap on the experience and wisdom of the team members to seek clarity, cross-pollinate and formulate solutions. Reply DrBea April 3, 2015 at 6:59 pm | # Yes this was a trick question. The problem presenter is always welcome to ask a question as are all members of the team. I would do nothing in the moment. But take a note for the next intervention to reinforce the great impact of the problem presenter asking questions as well as team members asking questions of each other. Happy Coaching Bea Reply Ignatius Sharma April 18, 2015 at 7:44 am | # That’s allowed as explained in the ground rules. Statements only in response to questions; anyone can ask anyone questions. Reply vganesh April 21, 2015 at 1:45 am | # Agreed Ignatius, the Golden Rule of the Thumb, “anyone can ask anyone a question”. I would allow the Problem Presenter(PP) to ask questions. By PP raising the question, it would creation a scenario where the PP could absorb more information and intelligence from the member of the team. Reply Tom Janiak April 24, 2015 at 9:42 am | # Great! Anyone can ask a question of anyone at any time! Reply Dennis Sanko May 3, 2015 at 5:26 am | # I completely agree with Scott, even thoug my first coaching session is scheduled next week, as a participant I observed many times that when PP starts asking questions this brings new energy and perspective to the entire team and I don’t remember it being counterproductive. Reply Wendy Teo May 4, 2015 at 9:16 pm | # This is a great situation to have and is perfectly in line with the AL ground rule! Agree that in many AL sessions, the problem presenter is often bombarded with questions that he/she forgot that she can ask questions too. Reply Lan Nguyen May 8, 2015 at 3:54 am | # It’s great the PP asks a quesiton. If it is a group new to AL, I would observe if there is a change in the dynamic of the discussion when the PP begins to also ask questions and not just grilled by other members. If it is a significant, I would try to surface this in the debrief. Reply Marisol Lopez May 11, 2015 at 8:43 am | # A PP asking a question is allowed in action learning and is actually a good sign that everyone is engaged as an inquirer vs. the PP being in the “hot seat”. Reply Joseph May 17, 2015 at 10:55 pm | # PP asking question is allowed and certainly welcome. Reply Kris June 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm | # PP can definitely ask a question. In many AL sessions, the PP is often bombarded with questions. It is good that PP asks questions so that he/she can gain from other’s perspectives. Reply Gurpreet Bhatia July 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm | # That’s fine. As per the 1st ground rule, Statements can only be made in response to questions; anyone can ask questions. Reply SUTHIRAPORN PRIPREM February 14, 2019 at 8:57 am | # Because anyone can ask a question of anyone else in team, as same as PP who have right to ask too. So I would welcome him to ask and help him in the process such as: If PP didn’t specify who he want to ask, I would ask PP “Who do you want to ask?”. If PP want answers from all members, I would track until PP get all answers completely. If there is not relevant answer, I would ask PP “Do the respondent answer your question yet?”. Note: In many sessions I had experiences that the answers of members can reflect the view that PP want to clear himself well and also increases the group’s capacity to work together. Reply John Laycock February 25, 2019 at 8:52 pm | # This situation would not require any specific action from the coach as the problem presenter is allowed and encouraged to ask questions, the same as any other member of the group. If all the questions are aimed at the problem presenter it can seem one sided – so directing questions to other participants can only have a positive impact. Reply Siwaporn Boonchu March 4, 2019 at 7:24 am | # There is nothing wrong when PP asks a question to the team. This situation is allowed and will be an opportunity for PP to get more help from the team. Reply Leave a comment You must be logged in to post a comment.