BootsnAll Travel Network

To answer or not to answer

Someone asks a question.
How do you respond?

Your response is based on a few variables.
What is your state of mind at the time the question is presented?
How is the question presented?
Who presents the question?
How personal, intrusive or rancorous is the question?
What are the consequences of the question?
The question is often not as important or as emotionally charged as any of the above.
What you feeling right now could dramatically alter your response to a simple “How are you?” You could resent the question, or be relieved to be asked.
Perhaps the question was asked sincerely, or in a smarmy, unctuous tone. Perhaps the person asked in such an offhand manner that it seemed they couldn’t care if you replied ‘I’m fine’ or ‘I’m dying.’
Someone you care for makes an inquiry, and you respond. Even if you don’t like it you can mull it over and respond accordingly. Someone you dont care for or dont have much patience with asks the same question, and your response is unlikely to be so balanced.
Questions come in many forms. Some simple, some intrusive, some hurtful, some designed to provoke a reaction, and some just thoughtless or pointless.
Intent. The intent of the question may be to provoke, embarrass or retaliate against something real or imagined. You wonder if the intent is for others to hear or see the question. In this age of Blogs, bulletin boards and online journals poison pen letters have a whole new dimension.
Why is this occupying my post?
A letter was posted recently.
The basic premise was that I was an uncaring and uncommunicative manager.
It hit a nerve. I try to listen. I’m not always successful
I made a point to talk to our current staff and hopefully make communication and response easier and more effective.


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