Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

Stop using “good question!”

The catch and the possible solution

Here’s a catch:

Commenting on someone’s query with “good question” meant to complement, but it is still a judgment — even if we haven’t meant to do that.

Because if there are “good” questions, it implies that there are “bad” questions.

And to those who are now in a hurry to say, “there are no bad questions!”, I’ll reply that I full-heartedly agree; yet it also means that there are no good questions without implementing judgment (as if we’re grading the question being asked…).

I started catching myself and replacing the habit of saying to someone “good question” with “I love/appreciate the question”.

And now for the catch:

When someone hands me the “good question!” compliment, if I accept it — I reinforce the judgment. But if I’d point out the inherent judgment, I might come out as disrespectful/picky/you name it.

*which that, I believe, would be called “a double bind”.

My solution, for now, is to decide according to my sense if this person is open to listening.

I welcome any other thoughts and suggestions.

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