Sunday, December 19, 2021

Questions to ask BEFORE answering a question

I've been thinking a lot about communication (I know--fun, right?!) and especially about questions. This is because asking and responding to questions (not just answering them) is a large part of communication.

So, 12(+) questions to ask yourself before responding when asked a question:

  1. Do I know the answer?
  2. Can I tell them the answer? (If I know.)
  3. Should I tell them the answer?
  4. Why do they want to know?
  5. What assumptions do they have that have led to (or are evident from) the question?
  6. Why do they think I know (or can get) the answer?
  7. What will they do with the answer I give them?
  8. Is there something I can give them better than the answer to their question?
  9. What led them to ask this question?
  10. Are other people likely to have this question?
  11. Where else can I share this answer?
  12. What type of answer are they expecting? (long, short, etc..)
  13.  Other?

I know the above is a generalization, and it won't apply to all questions but is a helpful summary of the things to consider.

Not all are always relevant, appropriate, or useful, but all are worth considering before answering a question.


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