Themes > Cross Culture > Dealing with questions
Dealing with questions

Business people often have to answer questions. You may have to respond to questions during a meeting or negotiation or after you have given a presentation. There are several possible responses to such questions. You can:

1. answer directly ("Yes", "No", "I'm..", etc)
2. ask for clarification of the question
3. reassure the questioner
4. give yourself time to think
5. avoid answering

The language you use becomes very important. It can provide you with certain helpful tactics to use in various situations. Look at these useful phrases:

Reactions to questions

Would you mind
rephrasing the
question? I didn't
quite understand it.

|
|
Have I understood
you correctly?

|
|

SEEKING CLARIFICATION

|
|

If I understand you
you're asking...
|
|

When you say...
do you mean...?

I'd like to reassure
you about that

|
|
There is no need for
concern on that
point

|
|

GIVING REASSURANCE

|
|

You need have no
worries on that front
|
|

I can understand
your concern but...

GIVING YOURSELF
TIME TO THINK

|
|

I'm glad you asked
that question
|
|

That's a very
interesting question

I'm afraid I can't
give you an answer
to that question
at the moment

|
|
I'd prefer not to
comment on that
for the moment

|
|

AVOIDANCE

|
|

Perhaps I could
answer that
question later
|
|

Well, that would
depend on
various factors

 

 

   


© Linguarama International, Alton UK, 1992 - 2000. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photographic, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Linguarama International.

You may download any issue of POSTSCRIPT for personal (non-commercial) use and may distribute it to friends and work colleagues provided that the above conditions are extended to all users and that no commercial use is made of the material.