PS: Any and all resemblances are purely coincidental.
Have you ever been in a meeting, where good questions are asked?
If yes, do you ever remember, if the good questions had answers?
No Sir, I never did. When a question is asked, for which the presenter, the host, the audience or whoever the question is directed at, does not have an answer. This is what happens, in the exact chronological sequence.
1. Silence. The question is asked, and no one or anyone who has the authority to speak do not have the answer.
The question is dead.
Long live the question.
2 mins silence.
Yes, that is what happens. Even the most prolific of the speakers, go silent. Thinking caps get put on. How best to answer or evade the question and not look foolish? We know, it takes a lot to say, I do not know.
2. Good Question: The silence is broken, with acknowledging the power of the question. This is when the magical phrase comes out – “Good Question”. The questioner does a mental high five and is grinning away to glory – only if it is a conference call. If it is an in person meeting, the person who has asked, has to look suitably perplexed. This is more so when the questioner knows that there is no easy answer.
This also helps as a time delay tactic, to frame the suitable answer in the mind. Also the moment you say good question, and acknowledge its power, the questioner is put on a high pedestal. So he/she will ignore whatever you have to say in your defense.
3. Attempts to answer – the many different ways. Some of the brave hearts acknowledge that they do not know the answer. Mere mortals like me, will try to side step, saying – “to the best of my knowledge … yadda yadda “. Then we fail miserably and give up, saying, we will get back.
Occasionally, some one else will step in and answer and save the day. And if no one around knows, then it becomes a free for all, with everyone giving different opinions.
The point is that, good questions do not have an answer, at least not at that moment. Next time, you ask a good question or asked a good question, pause, smile, and answer away.