If You’re Going To Ask A Question, Allow The Other Person To Answer It!

by Michael Oliver

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where has someone asked you a question — and then immediately answered it for you?

Here’s an example: “What would be the one thing that would make a difference in your life? Would it be having more money, more freedom, more time to play golf…?”

If this has happened to you, close your eyes and think about how you felt about the other person answering their own question. Not so great?

Why not? Because it wasn’t your answer? Did you nod your head and just let them blather on because you felt, hey, why should you put any energy in putting them right if they had already assumed they knew the answer?

Now, think about whether you do the same thing to others. If you do, reflect on how they might have felt and have responded to you in the past. Did they nod and not really say anything? Perhaps it was because they felt dishonored and devalued.

So ask yourself whether this habit is serving you and the people you do this to. If not, you can consider changing.


The first step to change is awareness. Be aware of what you’re doing and of how people respond to you. The second step is taking action on that awareness.

Be Silent

If you’re going to ask a question, then be silent and let the other person answer it. Silence is, after all … golden.

Being silent and present allows you to learn and understand. As Senator Dominick Barbara once said so eloquently: “You ain’t learnin’ nothing when you’re talkin’!”

Your ability to be silent and present tells others more about you than you can ever tell them about yourself in words!

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