• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Why we ask ‘quick questions’

Get PDF file

by on
in Centerpiece,Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Do you ask “quick questions?” Are they really delivered any faster than the other questions you’ve asked? Probably not.

Then why do we ask a “quick question?” First of all, a quick question is really a “last question” or, simply, just “one question.” The quick question is never asked first or even in the middle of the barrage of queries. It’s last or just a standalone.

There are two reasons people ask quick questions, and neither have anything to do with speed or brevity. But curiously, both have to do with the questioner being somewhat apologetic.

You’ll ask a “quick question” when you feel you’re interrupting someone with your query. For example, an employee needs to stick his head into his boss’s office to ask her: “Is it this Friday or next Friday that you want that report done?” Instead of getting right to the question, the employee prefaces it with “Quick question … .” It somehow seems to soften the blow of barging in. It’s a substitute for, “Sorry for bothering you, but I just need something clarified.”

You’ll ask a quick question when you want to signal to the person you’re interviewing that this is the last one. And it’s usually someone you’re thankful is even answering any questions at all. It’s a substitute for, “Thank you for sitting here and taking my questions. I know your time is more valuable than my time, but I just have one more. You can be brief with your answer, but I’ll take as much as you’ll give.”

Leave a Comment