Re: Kids on Teamwork LO2940

Matzdorf, Fides (
Tue, 26 Sep 95 10:46:00 0BS

Replying to LO2935
Dave's observations and inferences:

>People think the question asker knows THE answer and is just
>using the question as way to set people up (entrap them) and
>make them feel foolish. Doesn't matter if an answer follows the
>question or not.

>Interesting phenonemon - Ask a question of another person in
>a meeting. Even explain the reason why the question is being
>asked. A common response IMHO is 'Why are you asking that
>question?' within seconds of the questioner having stated the
>reason why.

>Dave Buffenbarger

I have been on this list for a while, silently, but Dave's comments
triggered something off... Questions are often used _not_ to ask for
information, but in defensive or even aggressive way, eg as rhetorical
questions or implied criticism. People resort to this kind of
communication when they are not being assertive, ie they do not want to
take responsibility for making a statement, and therefore disguise it as a
question, eg 'Do you _really_ think this is a good idea?' instead of 'I
don't like your idea'.

Since this technique of evading responsibility (and exposing oneself to
potentially hurtful criticism) is so frequently applied, it's no wonder
that people anticipate ulterior motives (usually unpleasant ones) when
asked a question...

This is one important reason why self-development groups and assertiveness
training invite participants to use 'I statements' rather than questions,
and to ask questions _only_ when they are genuine questions: for
clarification or information.

Fides Matzdorf
Research Assistant, School of Urban and Regional Studies
Sheffield Hallam University