I Got It! #24 Can’t Get A Direct Answer? Quick Communication Tips

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when people won’t give you a direct answer? People who use noncommittal language such as ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’ or ‘sometime’ are often avoiding being honest. For the receiver of the message you don’t get closure or direction. What can you do? Try phrases like “When you say ‘maybe’ what exactly do you mean?”  They may hedge so ask another more specific question like, ” What conditions would need to be met for you to be able to say yes?”  or “When you say ‘perhaps’ you are telling me you haven’t come to a decision yet.  Am I correct?” Then  you could say ” When will you be ready to decide?” or “What will it take for you to decide?” Then stop talking, look the person in the eye and wait for an answer.

The most difficult part is to wait for an answer. Sometimes if the person says “I don’t know” you can look at them and say “what would the answer be if you did know?” Your face must match your concern for an honest answer. While not perfect, I’ve tried this and it often works. Good luck!