Loaded Questions

thQ2AY271HYou’re at work and one of your employees calls your phone.  They are out in the field so you answer to see what’s going on.  “Hey, what’s the policy on bla bla bla (insert your own variable)?”

You respond with, “Well the policy says we should operate at bla bla bla standard?”

“There shouldn’t be any exception to that right?” they ask.

For more get:

The Jerk Whisperer


The Jerk Whisperer – How to Keep Adults Acting Like Adults



Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

13 thoughts on “Loaded Questions

  1. That’s a great way to respond. I have to admit that I’m guilty of using the loaded question when I need to lead someone to the answer so they can find their own mistake. And, I’m just as guilty of when someone is asking me tons of questions like that to tell them “I need you to get to the point – what are you really trying to ask me?”

  2. Kerwyn Hodge says:

    Nice, Cranston! Loaded questing are a big problem, and learning how to avoid them is a critical managerial skill. It’s also nice you sharing your tip for sidestepping the trap. In the example above, the really dangerous question was the second one. While you might not automatically catch a question clarifying a policy as a managerial Claymore mine, when someone asks if there are NO EXCEPTIONS, your antenna had better start twitching! “Almost”and “never” are dangerous terms in almost any conversation!

  3. John Smith says:

    Reblogged this on THE STRATEGIC LEARNER and commented:
    A few questions around asking questions …

  4. You know it! People will set you up every which way till Sunday, so to speak. Of course, the reason why someone approaches the person in charge is to manipulate reasoning and action to their benefit, Unfortunately, I have seen too few in leadership take the upper road as you suggest. Instead they have fallen into the trap of the jab. You are right, this automatically assigns guilt and the attention is off the real issues. Once the village forms a mob…beware! ~Zoey

  5. […] Cranston Holden answers many questions day in and day out and does his best to ensure they're not loaded. We've all had the experince of someone attempting to box us into a specific and limiting answer with the power of words well chosen. Here Cranston gives us an elegant approach to make sure we think and stay out of that box. @CranstonHolden answers further questions […]

  6. Dawn Lennon says:

    Such a great post on a real “set up” problem. Love your take on it. I’ve been there, for sure, and always try to remember to respond: “Why do you ask?” Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: