Why You Don’t Get Thoughtful Answers to Your Questions

Source: Fast Company, Jul 2016

… if you feel like you’re being dismissed, see if one of the reasons below could be to blame.

1. YOU INCLUDE TOO MUCH OTHER INFORMATION

To avoid this frustrating outcome, cut your message down whenever you can. See if there’s anything you can delete or shorten, and also look for places where you can add parentheses or links with an offer to share more—so the other person can opt in for (or out of) additional info.

2. YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY ASKING ANYTHING

If you’re not trying to steal the spotlight, but just have a half-baked idea, give yourself an extra minute to process. If you speak up before you’re sure what you’re really asking, the info you get in return may not be that helpful anyway. So, take the time to drill down to what you need to know, and if the other person has moved on say, “I had a question on an earlier item . . .” If you feel like this would disrupt a new train of conversation, write it down and follow up later over email: The speaker will be flattered he left you thinking about what he said!

3. YOU RARELY TAKE THE ADVICE YOU’RE GIVEN

if you routinely ask questions—and then ignore what the other person suggests—it makes sense he’d stop sharing his advice.

thoughtful answers take work. They take active listening and consideration and creative thinking. And each of us has only so much of that to go around on a given afternoon. So, if someone takes the time to give you feedback—and the end result is the same as if you’d never spoken—it makes sense that the next time you come by for a brainstorming session, she’s suddenly really busy.

 

 

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