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?” is a simple enough question. 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, both of us are wasting time.
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.