Am I the only person who has ever had his wife say, after I have quickly responded to what I thought was her question,

“Why don’t you first listen to me before you start trying to answer!  You don’t even know what I was asking!”?

Yes, more times than I care to admit, it can be said of me:  “Bob answers before he listens.”

If this has ever happened to you would you like a simple solution?

Here it is:  Instead of instantly trying to answer what you think the question is – simply ask:  

“Can you please tell me more?”

Have you heard this story:

Johnnie (age 7) comes running into the house, yelling to his mom, “Where did I come from?”  Johnnie’s mom had not been expecting this question–well at least not yet!   But after taking a deep breath and collecting her thoughts just a bit, she invites Johnnie into the living room where she shares all about  “The Birds and the Bees.”  Johnnie’s eyes are wide as saucers as he takes in every word.  When Johnnie’s mom is finished, she says, “Now Johnnie do you understand where your came from?”   Johnnie replies, “No! Joey said that he came from California and he asked me where I came from?”

Do you think Johnnie’s mom had wished she had responded to Johnnie’s question with:

“Can you please tell me more?”

So, do you understand now, Why your first question should always be:  “Can you please tell me more?”

The real benefit of asking “Can you please tell me more” not only allows you to make sure you are responding to the real issue, it will also give you more time to thoughtfully respond:

  • Sometimes just with a listening ear (for when he/she is not even be asking for your input)
  • Sometimes with an answer.
  • Sometimes with a thoughtful question that will allow them to solve their own problem.

Here is your action point:   Make it your standard automatic response, whenever you are asked a question, to ask:

“Can you please tell me more?”

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4 thoughts on “Can You Please Tell Me More?

  1. dorcy says:

    thanks

    1. Bob Tiede says:

      Dorcy you are most welcome!

  2. I appreciate your commentary on asking questions. Asking essential and clarifying questions was my most powerful tool as a teacher. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Bob Tiede says:

      My pleasure Sharon! Thank you for your encouragement!

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