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Part II: Team Involvement, Decision Maki... > Rules for Asking Nonthreatening Ques...

Chapter 7. Rules for Asking Nonthreatening Questions

Following are general rules for effectively asking nonthreatening questions to get participation.

Rule 1 Initially ask each question of the entire team. Example: What are the possible reasons for increased scrap levels during the last ten days of the quarter? (Do not say, “Jane, what are the possible reasons for increased scrap levels in the last ten days of the quarter?”)
Rule 2 Pause and allow the team members time to consider the question. Note: Some facilitators become anxious if a question does not elicit an immediate response. If this happens to you, relax; your team members are thinking.
Rule 3 If a team member responds, acknowledge the remark and explore the response further if possible or necessary. For example:

Team member: “One of the reasons we have more scrap relates to working overtime to meet production quotas.”

Facilitator: “Overtime huh? Why would overtime create more scrap?”

Team member: “Well, overtime work causes fatigue and carelessness, resulting in more scrap.”
Rule 4 If no one responds in a reasonable amount of time, look for nonverbal signals from a team member who is wanting to be involved—i.e., eye contact, a forward lean, an uplifted eyebrow. Then, go to that person by name. Example: “Carol, you look as if you have something to offer here. Can you help us out? In your opinion, why does our scrap count go up during the last days of each quarter?”



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