What are your Questions for my answers?

Chris Guillebeau [] said today in his blog:

"In 2005, U.N. Secretary General Koffi Annan was struggling with a series of scandals and other challenges in his administration.

I read this short quote in a magazine interview with him and wrote it down in my notebook:

Question: Senator Coleman says you are 'damaged goods.' What do you say to him?

Answer: Watch and see.

I loved the calm, measured, determined response. You don't have to defend yourself, or prove yourself to anyone. Just tell them, "Watch and see." Then go and do something amazing. Koffi Annan was able to successfully finish his term. Senator Coleman lost his race for re-election last year. "

U.N. Secretary General Koffi Annan knew that his mother and everyone else's mother train their kids well, scolding "Just answer the question Koffi! Just answer the question!!!!"

He and every other seasoned professional communicator knows that just answering the question can be professional and political suicide. He learnt to be counter-intuitive in his responses to questions and that lead him to the top.

Sir "Joh" Bjelke-Petersen the longest living Queensland Premier, was famous for his line to the press corps he delivered whenever a media conference was held. "What are your questions for my answers?"

He would never answer their questions. He was only going to deliver his answers. And that was just that.

There are some questions you should never, never fact, most questions have the potential to lead you off your path.

"Wait and See!" is a great answer to a challenging question.

Another really great answer is "I don't think so!" - it's multi purposed, you don't have to struggle to remember it and it immediately lets your questioner know that you are not one to be messed with. (Take note those who are assertive challenged.)

And to give Sir Joh the last word, (something he always took)

"I'm so glad you asked me that! You just gave me the chance to tell you all the great things I'm up to......."

Who needs to be scared of questions anymore? Just because your mum told you to answer the question, why do you have to now or in the future?

Email Mike...

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