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Don’t Like the Question? Don’t Answer It!


Have you noticed how politicians and business leaders avoid many of the questions posed to them? In a past issue of Psychology Today (October 2009) there is an interesting article on “Dodged a Question” by Matthew Hutson. The article illustrates how if someone is prepared for questions and can answer indirectly but smoothly, the question that was asked could be forgotten and the speaker moves on, talking about what s/he wants to speak about. In fact, the speaker who comes across confidently and smoothly but does not answer the question will be perceived more favorably than the person who answers the question but has verbal pauses that interfere with their communication effort. The article offers several tips on how to avoid a question. They are:

  • prepare
  • restate, rephrase
  • go abstract
  • turn away
  • don’t be boring

And what does this show us? If you practice the art of communication, which most of us do not; you can control a conversation or an interview. Now that’s power of communication.

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