If I ask you a question, it is because I want to know the answer.
“Sally, do you know who the attendees are for that meeting?” Seems pretty simple and direct, right?
I’ve gotten these varieties of responses:
- That’s not my department
- I can find out for you if you’d like me to
- I think it is Jim and Jeff, let me find out
- The attendees are Jim, Jeff and Christie
Of the above options, only one is acceptable. The first two are obviously not acceptable. In a professional environment, this lack of ownership and interest is wrong. Number three is slightly better but wastes my time – of course I want you to find out. That’s why I am asking you! Number four is getting closer but is still not quite right – in the time it took you to tell me that you were going to go find out, you could have just….reached out to find the answer.
But when you tell me directly what I wanted to know, that’s a winner!
Please, please – when I ask you a question, do what you need to do to answer me with accuracy. I promise I’ll do the same for you.