You probably hear a lot of ignorant or incorrect ideas in the course of your workweek. Laughing at or arguing with people can hurt your relationship with them, so you may want to “play dumb” if you hear something ridiculous, says Geoffrey Tumlin, author of “Stop Talking, Start Communicating.”
Playing dumb gives the other person a chance to pay attention to what they’ve said and correct themselves. And it doesn’t apply to just face-to-face communication—an email with wrong information is a good example as well.
Play dumb effectively to make sure it works correctly. Don’t snicker or act like you don’t get what the other person is saying. Simply pretend you didn’t hear it and move on.
— Adapted from “Why Playing Dumb Can Be a Smart Career Strategy,” Anita Bruzzese, Intuit.