When someone asks a complex question, it’s a pretty good bet they want to know the answer. It’s also likely they’ve eliminated everyone else in their rolodex and they’re now looking for an answer from the person they’ve asked.
What do you do if that person is you?
Three standard responses, (guess which one wins friends and influence):
– Answer as minimally as possible. Nothing more than the specific answer to the specific question. “If they can’t ask better questions, that’s their problem.”
– Fob them off. With a cursory answer (see above) or to someone else. “I don’t have time for this.”
– Take responsibility for closure. Whether from you or elsewhere, make sure they a fulsome answer, that deals with the question they’ve asked and the context they need to make sense of it. “How else can I help?”
Skippy strategy: Give the best help you can.
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