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Chapter 13. Block-Busting Questions

Block-busting questions offer another way to elicit more precise communication from another person by eliminating ambiguities.

Here’s a simple illustration: Take the statement, “Let’s work out an agenda.” If someone said this to you in a work context, what would it mean? You might understand this as a project and go back to your workspace, thinking you knew what the other person meant but not being sure. Then, you’d scratch your head and try to work out an agenda according to what you thought the person meant. But unless you checked it out, you could be way off base. What does agenda mean to that person? Does it mean the list of events, the speakers, a detailed, step-by-step plan for the meeting, or just an overall outline? What is meant by work out, and who is going to be responsible for it?


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