24 September 2006


"It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance." Thomas Huxley

"Do you love me?"
"What do you think?"

"Can you please do me a favor?"

"Do you understand?"
"Does it matter?"

Whenever a question is asked, everyone expects an answer related to the question. Answering question with question only deliver negative touchpoint experience. This kind of answering technique is not funny, and definitely not the art of negotiation!

Every question has only two types of answers: yes, and no. Everything else is just the process of getting to yes or no.

Nobody is going to have problem with yes, but if the answer is no, the person can either keep asking why no, or simply give up. Although no may deliver negative experience, no at least provides a direction. Nobody has to guess anything. Guessing is a time-consuming and torturing exercise. If the answer is just another question, who has the patience and motivation to solve one question after another?

The other common unproductive answers are "don't know", "maybe", and "depends".

"Don't know" is not an answer but excuse. Nobody wants an excuse as the answer, because everyone is already good at making excuses. Besides, excuses produce nothing. Everyone simply wants an actionable answer to move forward.

"Maybe" is just another piece of bullshit. Yes is yes, and no means no. Is maybe a no or yes? A question is in fact an identified trouble which needs to be solved as soon as possible before another question pops up. Who wants to spend time figuring out what the maybe actually implies! Similarly, black is black, and white is white. Gray area is where chaos lies.

"Depends" is another waste of time. Everyone knows everything is dependent on other factors. Who needs others to tell everyone the obvious!? What everyone wants is a solution, not more complications.

"Do you love me?"
"Yes, I do!"

"Can you please do me a favor?"
"No, sorry."

"Do you understand?"
"Yes, thank you."


kinson lee said...

“Maybe”, “Depends” …… sort of these “bullshit” answers still exist in our real world, even all of us need responses that figure out our doubts. Why? It is because someone, or some of us hope retaining opponents’ dignity.

Sometimes, a soft, meaningless answer could be act as buffer that let us imagine, digest, and be inspired ……

Herman Chan said...

'No' may not be an ideal answer. A 'No' indicates some kind of follow up and/or improvement course of actions needed that implies a further negotation should take place or the deal has not been completed.

So, never Take 'No' as an Answer until you get a 'Yes'.