Thursday, January 3, 2013

Answering questions

Assalamualaikum, peace be upon you :)

Last week, I was asked a question which I found was tough.

I took two meetings to answer that question. The first meeting went just well, but because of the presence of other people as well, more questions came. After an explanation, there's tens of question marks struck me.

Thanks to the one who asked. I can't get the question out of my mind for few days :)

So we decided to continue.

From the first to the second meeting, I asked so many people to be consulted in order for me to present better arguments. I read books, searching on the internet, emailed so many people, asked opinions here and there.

And then came the second meeting. Instead of better, I made things even more complicated. Cause I tried to convince, and I was going here and there, picturing analogy, yet still baffling. The logic was just not there. To prove that he's wrong and mine's correct.

And now, the discussion has ended.


What matters now is not the arguments. I, now, learned the etiquette of entertaining the one who asked, and the question. Cause I was wrong.

1. Accept disagreement. When dealing with opinions, it will cover an extensive area of discussion. Why? Because it's an opinion. Every single person will come up with a different idea. That idea is somehow molded based on one's experience, situation and understanding.

2. Put yourself in the questioner. Pretend as if you were the one who is finding the answer. You too are not sure whether you are in the right side or not. Let both of you be in a situation where both wanted to find the truth. Open your mind.

3. Clarify terminology and the context. I found a theory while I was making research for the question. A term is set to correspond to several actions, and situations, which give the meaning to the term. And that meaning is what causing people to judge on the term, and where the law comes. If you vanish out the meaning, but still use the term - then don't expect people to not misunderstand you. And plus, the law should then be different. Thus, laws shall be executed by the meaning, not the term. So if you were asked about something, and you take it as what generally it means. In contrast, the one who asked may have a bit different meaning than the general one. Therefore, before jumping immediately into what you think, you better ask the person first. He/she may have a different meaning to the same term. Ask the situation where the term he/she used, comes in. Then only the discussion can be proceeded to the same direction.

4. Asking is to know. People ask, because they want to know about something. It doesn't necessarily mean that that person is ready for a mutual agreement, or ready for a change. Sometimes, yes. But most of the time, the realization of knowing something comes later, not at that point of time. So you shouldn't expect for a result, or immediate respond. 

5. Knowing versus understanding.  It is so hard to make people understand things the way you did. Because understanding needs a deep thinking, and the effectuation comes a bit more later. Understanding also deals with hearts. Let it take it's own way in achieving the understanding. Your job is to respond to the question.

6. Have a discretion. This is very sensitive. That person may no longer wanted to ask you anything anymore in the future, once you let it on. That's too bad.

Anything more to add.. ?

May I have a better experience next time. 
And lets digest the lessons this time! 
And repeat the mistakes no more time :)


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