“That’s a good question!”

Inundated by Zoom, WebEx, or BlueJeans virtual meetings, especially work-related ones that allow for Q&A time at some point—and that’s most meetings for me—I’ve been thinking a lot about this phrase: “That’s a good question!”

I might go so far as to say more often than not, the person responding to a question will say this at the beginning of their answer, and I immediately think:

  1. Is it really?
  2. How so?
  3. What exactly about it makes it good? ‘Cause I don’t see it.

Or are you just buying time while you decide:

  1. if you know the answer, or
  2. how to answer if you do, or
  3. to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out and get back to you.”

My personal feeling is twofold about starting the answer with that:

  1. The responder thinks it’s a good question, because it’s not one they’d thought of, or
  2. It’s just a kind of communication tic of the responder and they’ve given no actual thought as to whether it’s a good question or not.

Just to feel included, I shout this
to the screen after each response.

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