Scenario: Unanswered questions

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation: Participants are asking question upon question and no one is answering.

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

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Comments (15)

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    Monika Kantowicz-Gdanska

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    I would suggest an intervention. i would say “I can observe there is a lot of questions being asked, but no answers are given. What is happening?” After getting the answers I would ask “What can we do to make sure the answers are given to the questions asked?” Another scenario that comes to my mind is intervention such as: “”I can observe there is a lot of questions being asked, but no answers are given. What happens when we do not answer the questions that are asked?” The second solution seems more precise to me. It may help proceed more quickly than the first one. Answer to “What is happening?” could be difficult or not precise.

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    Danuta Babińska

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    I would check in saying something like: “I‘ve noticed that a number of questions were left unanswered. Have you also noticed that?” and then I would continue by engaging the team to observe how it affects their work by asking questions like: “What do you think this results from? How do we cope with this? How do you think it will affect our work?”

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    Beata Pluta

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    Intervention: I noticed that there are unanswered questions , did you notice that? What do we lose by not answering the questions? and what could we get if we heard the answer.

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    Rachel Goodwin

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    I would intervene to point out that a specific team member had asked a question and ask them if they feel it had been answered, if they said it had not been answered I would ask them to repeat the question and to specify if the question was addressed to a particular member of the group or if it was an open question. If it was an open question I would continue to ask if everyone who wanted to respond had had the chance before moving on to the next question. I would make a note of who I had stopped asking the next question and return to them. If it was repeated behaviour I would intervene to ask how the group were performing, what were they doing well and what they could do better, I would ask what the impact of not answering questions before moving on was having on the performance of the group and ask them what they could do differently to address it.

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    Roxette Lam

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    I would intervene to ask questions for Team: I observed that there were many questions that were posed but no answers. Have you observed that? How affect are un-answers questions to the effectiveness of this session? According to Team, what should we do next with the questions we have asked so far?

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    Lai Yin Yong

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    I would intervene to ask ” Team, do you have any observation on our session so far?’ if they did not get the situation, I would further ask” I observed there are few questions which are not responded yet. Have you observed it?’ ” what is the impact if we let this situation continue?’ ” what should we do about it?'” How is the team will be benefited if we are able to improve this situation?”

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    katia soares natalicchio

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    I would suggest an intervention like: “I can see that everyone is using our rule that everyone can ask questions at all times. But I notice that there is no room for answers. What happens to the group when we don’t answer the questions asked? How can we support the presenter in generating ideas to be carried out to address his question? ”

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    Carmem Rocha

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    I realize we’re having a lot of unanswered questions. How can we learn more and maximize the group’s potential for troubleshooting in this situation?

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    Anna Sieczkowska - Bałazy

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    As an action learning coach, I would say there are many questions but no answers. What do you think how we are doing as a team on a scale 1- 10?
    What are we doing well?
    What can we do better?
    I assume that someone from the team will bring up the situation. If not, I would ask directly – What atmosphere do we have now? How do you feel in this way of working?

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    Ronaldo Paulo Villamarzo

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    This sounds like a perfect time for an intervention using the SID format. I will begin by mentioning that I have observed that several questions have been asked but no one has answered. Then I will ask them what they think the impact will be if we continue this way. From there, I will ask them what needs to happen so that we can have a healthy exchange of questions and answers.

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    Katrina Dickson

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    I would intervene: “I am observing a pattern in questioning and answering. What are others observing? ” If they do not observe the pattern (eg they are a new group, who are still becoming familiar with the action learning process) I would point the pattern out, saying ” I notice that many questions are being asked but no (or few) answers are being given. Are others also noticing this?” (look for nods or other signs of affirmation. Follow this with “What is the impact on the group of people asking question upon question, but with no answers being given?” Then “what could we do about this?” I would also remind them of the ground rule that statements can only be made in response to questions (to minimise the chance of “over-correcting” in which they may start making too many statements as opposed to asking questions).

    I would then track the “balance” of questions and statements to identify if the pattern has changed, and if not, I may need to intervene again. At the end, when the group is identifying learnings, if no one raises the impact of the questioning pattern on learnings, I may raise it.

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    nadia estirini

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    Facing the situation, as action learing coach I will bring the situation into learning by interven with the following steps:
    1. Team, “what is happening right now?”
    2. I observed there are many questions remained unanswered.
    3. As a team, “how the situation impact to the efftiveness to the team?”
    4. “How do the team improve it?”

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    Angeline Yong

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    I would intervene by asking, “Team, what is happening?”

    How are we doing in terms of responding to the questions being asked, on a scale of 1 – 10 (with 1 being low & 10 being high)?

    How would this affect our team effectiveness if this continues?

    What can we do to improve this?

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    Jouw Wijnsma

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    I would intervene by asking ‘I’ve observed that a lot of questions are left unanswered, did you notice that?’, then follow with ‘why is it important that questions are answered?’ and continue with ‘how can we do this better?’

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    FangFang Kong

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    A: As an action learning coach, I will ask the team to intervene with the SID intervention mode based on the six components and two basic rules of action learning:
    1. What is happening in the team at present?
    2. How do you think the team is doing so far?(on a scale of 1-10)
    3. Review one of the basic principles of action learning: statements only in response to questions and anyone can ask anyone questions.
    4. What will happen to the team if we continue?
    5. How will the quality of the solution be affected?
    6. What can we do to better promote results?
    7. How can we prevent this from happening again in future meetings?

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