ARCHIVES                                                           Written by international spiritual author Roy E. Klienwachter

                                                                   

Interpreting Questions

12/23/03

  

The boss calls me into his office and asks me, Roy why are your sales down? There is only one obvious answer to that question. From experience this leaves me in an awkward position. I cannot give him the obvious answer because he would consider me impertinent. That leaves me in the position of trying to interpret his question. I donít believe that he wants the obvious answer. I believe he is wanting to know why my sales are down. So I must either ask him to clarify or move forward with my best interpretation of his question.

   I have difficulties with this often. The correct answer to his question would be my sales are down because they are not up. That is the obvious answer. Often I stare at people and wonder what it is that they are asking. The answers are obvious, and if they are why bother asking me anything. What is it that this person wants to know? I believe that many times I am being misunderstood because I do not understand the question. Assumptions and interpretations of poorly asked questions lead to misunderstood answers.

   There are some people that I just cannot have a conversation with, because they misinterpret what I say. Itís like talking to someone from another country or someone from a mental institute. There is no communication. This comes from a poorly asked open ended question, or from an answer that is interpreted and not in tune with the intent of the question. Sometimes a question is more of a statement, because the answer is so obvious and it does not require an answer. Why am I so damned hot? Well you are standing in the sun with your coat on. This is an interpretation of a question, that is really a statement. You are hot because you are not cool. Does your question ask, how you could be cooler or more comfortable? Is it a statement, that says you donít know why you are hot or a question about how to become cooler. I often find many questions very difficult to answer. Because they are too obvious and interpretations are too many.

   Questions are really poor communicators. When a man asks why is this hammer lying here? Does he really want to have an explanation, or does he simply want to have the hammer put back into its proper place. Or does he want it removed and put anywhere other than where it is, or does he want to know the reasons for why it is there. All of those things would go through my head at once, because of a poorly constructed question, and a best guess answer.

   I am in a room with people that are not hearing me and I say "why am I here?" What is it that I am saying? Is it a question or a statement about the other people, or about myself? Or do I need to know how I got into the room? Really, what is the question. You are hear, because you are not there, that is the obvious answer.

   Why would people not understand me? Is it poor questions, poor interpretation, or is the question too obvious? If people do not understand your answer it may be that you are not answering the right question. Your answer may be correct, but you are simple responded to an incorrect interpretation of an open ended question. When the obvious is overlooked, then we must turn to the questioner and ask ourselves, what does he/she really want to know, and there are just too many interpretations. Communication is lost and both are left looking at each other as if each was from a different planet.

   Good quality answers come from good quality questions. But where does that leave the obvious. If answers are obvious, what is the need of the question? Does this mean that there is no need to ask questions that seek the obvious? If that is so, then all questions are subject to interpretations. Then an answer freely given, is correct, given its connection between its own answer and its interpretation of the question. Should a question lead to the obvious answer, or just the interpretation of the question? It would appear that the questioner has problems with the question as well, as he asks questions that do not satisfy the intend and the obvious answer is not what he seeks.

   The interpretation of his intent is not translated into the correct question. Intent, therefore is really the main element behind any question. That must therefore be the focus of the answer. And as we have seen that usually does not bring satisfactory results. Questions then do not solicit exact results, but rough interpretations. Is it because the questioner does not know the answers himself, or is it at some level, both parties know the answers, and there is just a need to communicate.

   Are questions and answers simply an acknowledgement? At some level all answers are known. The question is really a request for acknowledgement, for a connection between the asker and the answerer. If you know what I am thinking, we must be connected at some level. Humans always seek to understand and acknowledge their connection between themselves to each other. Intuitively we seek to always be connected. Questions and answers are physical verbalizations of that connectiveness. Questions are not necessary, because they always have an obvious answer.

   The answers are discoveries, a probing into how we are joined. Obvious answers do not satisfy, so questions are designed to get answers that go beyond the obvious. If you know that one plus one is two, we have established a connection that draws us closer. The more you understand me through your answers, the closer we will be. I have nothing to gain by asking the obvious. Questions are merely a means to an end. The end result always is to find yourself, relative to your environment and others.

   Questions are affirmations that we are one and are spiritually connection no matter what we think the purpose of the question. Questions do not represent our true intent for asking them. They are pleas to ourselves for acknowledged, they are affirmations. I am here, I am alive, please recognize me, please acknowledge my presence, please understand me. Look at me not my question. Understand that I am trying to communicate with you.

   Spiritually, when one asks a question, he should recognize, that the answerer will be responding to your intentions and purpose, not the questions. It will be his interpretations, and acknowledgement of your presence. We do not acknowledge questions, but intent. There are no incorrect answers, just misinterpretations, or correct acknowledgements.

Roy is a resident of British Columbia, Canada. An international published author, a student of NLP, spiritual philosopher, New Age Light Worker, Teacher and Phenomenologist. Roy's books and articles are thought provoking, and designed to empower your imagination.Review Roy's new book at: http://www.yourlifewasnevermeanttobeastruggle.com