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Awkward Questions Invite Multiple Answers (Q+A) G#23266

Awkward Questions Invite Multiple Answers (Q+A)

GBE > Encyclopaedia > Code > Question+Answer > Q#23266

Questions and Answers:

Awkward Questions Invite Multiple Answers

  • I am about to start rambling….try to stick with me.
  • This is not a criticism but an observation from life’s experience.
    • (fortunately not learned by too many mistakes)
  • There was one lady on an ground level element table of a brain storming session at a recent EU funded Research Project, who appeared a little eccentric in the way she ‘blurted-out’ some odd sounding questions.
    • (I like eccentrics, I have worked with a few in the Specification and Green worlds, given time they are usually fascinating)
  • I felt her questions may have been dismissed quite quickly.
  • Once by “A question for another day perhaps”
  • In the context of a time pressured event, this may be the only practical answer at the time.
  • But I have a gut instinct there was probably something very important behind that question, that we may never understand the question nor get the answer too.
  • I wish I have managed to catch the lady in question, but so many lovely canapé and other questions needed answers during networking.

Past Experience

  • I know from past experience that those seemingly unrelated questions, if given time and patience to represent themselves can lead to relevant issues that need interrogation.
  • On the construction site of a national library we had a QS who would ask ‘dumb to us’ questions, he would ask the same question 3 or 4 times, each time phrased in a different way, until all of a sudden the question made sense to us all and revealed a gap in our knowledge that needed interrogating.
  • We also had a bright young package manager who would ask a ‘dumb to us’ question taking a issue that we understood, out of context and applying it in a strange new context only to discover the issue did apply, in this strange new way.
  • We can assume too much and never get to the truth.
  • Assume = Making an ASS of U and ME.

Advice given freely over the neighbours fence

  • In the context of professionals giving free advice over the garden fence and later getting sued for that free advice.
  • I have learned the lesson to take the time to answer the first question, as best I can, but then ask many questions around the first question and answer them all.
  • If I do not do that the simple answer to the simple question gives the questioner leeway to misinterpret or misapply the answer and do the wrong thing.
  • Answering the question and enriching it with many questions and answers gives the questioner a bigger piece of my context and shares more know-how.
  • In the hope they can apply their new found understanding and make a better informed decision.

I gave the following as an example: 

Inform and Invite ©Programmes 2008

  • During the post-2008 recession I picked up this prompt from Programmes in Corby
  • So I encourage others with questions to ‘inform and invite’ 
  • Inform: enrich us with the context (what do you know that we don’t know)
  • Invite: ask a question that we can answer (in the context of what you just informed us about)
  • That usually works, 
  • The lady in question may find this a useful approach.
  • I hope she comes to the next event I will try to tease out her questions.
  • I hope she was not put off.

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy aka BrianSpecMan
4th July 2019 – 5th July 2019

Awkward Questions Invite Multiple Answers Q+A
See Also:



  • Statement No.: S1, S2, etc.
  • Observation No.: O1, O2, etc.
  • Question No.: Q1, Q2, etc.
  • Answer No.: A1, A2, etc.


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© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy aka BrianSpecMan
4th July 2019 – 5th July 2019

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