……sometimes in my life I have come across very difficult questions. As a leader, people expect my answers to be clear, concise and to meet the standard expected of me.
I have hesitated in answering them before, or deferred them to another time.
We have the power to articulate and think deeply before answering or asking a question but when faced with very difficult questions.
How should we handle It.? What is your experience with difficult questions?
Thank you very much.
Mariéme Jamme- MBA
Social Entrepreneur- Speaker- Founder of Iconscience- Emerging Markets Strategist- CEO at Spotone Global Solutions.
People ask questions because they want answers. I find it very disrespectful when someone “doesn’t answer” a question. The more that they talk around it and pretend to answer, the more disrespectful I find it (since you’re essentially assuming that people are stupid and can be fooled onto thinking that you’ve provided an answer)
Answer the question with honesty and integrity. If you don’t know the answer, say that you don’t know, but that you’ll find out. If you need time to think about it, tell them that and indicate when they can expect an answer. If you can’t answer for some reason, explain and indicate when you might be able to answer. If the answer will cast you in a bad light, get it over with and try to indicate how you intend to turn the situation/answer around.
As an individual, your only true asset is your reputation. If you habitually avoid answering difficult questions, mislead people in your answers, or just brush them off, that will have a much greater impact than your answers likely will. If you address the difficult questions proactively and do so with honesty and integrity, that will help to develop trust and will improve your reputation as a leader and as a coworker.