Nov
21

52 Ways To Avoid Giving An Immediate Answer

by  Page Cole  |  Workplace Issues

No one likes being pushed or bullied into making snap decisions.  There’s something unnerving about the situation where we’re the demand is “I need an answer, and I need it now!”  Of course, if you work as in law enforcement or an emergency room, sometimes immediate decisions are necessary.

But most of the time, the imposed urgency is the result of someone else’s poor planning or decisions.  My mom used to always say, “Poor planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine!”  So how do we deal with these “tyrants of urgency”?  Here are a few possible responses you might use to buy some time or send the decision to its proper place.

  1. I’d like to give that some thought.
  2. Hey, it is what it is… or is it?
  3. Let me sleep on it.
  4. I’m going to need a little more information.
  5. I don’t think my mother would approve.
  6. I need some time to think this through.
  7. Let’s reach out to some of the others involved before taking the next step.
  8. This really is/isn’t the kind of “thinking outside of the box” that the boss/team was looking for.
  9. My team/boss/spouse needs some input on this decision first.
  10. “Silence”
  11. I can’t give you an answer right now.
  12. Have we fully and thoroughly considered the impact?
  13. Can I get back to you tomorrow?
  14. What would you think about taking this offline for a bit?
  15. We need to peel back the layers of onion on this thing first.
  16. Let’s talk about that some.
  17. I don’t think I’m the person that should be making this decision.
  18. I’m sorry, I need to go to the bathroom. (Then disappear)
  19. I’d feel better about making a decision if we gave this a little time.
  20. We need to drill down a little deeper on this issue.
  21. I think I left the bathwater running at my house… gotta go.
  22. This issue has so many moving parts; maybe we need to slow it down.
  23. I don’t feel well.  We’ll have to continue this later.
  24. I want this to go “next level”, but I’m not sure we have mojo to get there.
  25. I’m confused, can you get some clarification on this issue and get back to me?
  26. I’m not sure we’ve got all of our ducks in a row.
  27. I’m afraid… hold me.
  28. I’d like to see the action plan and contingencies you’ve prepared if this doesn’t work.
  29. It sounds like someone has been drinking the Kool-Aid…
  30. Let me check to make sure this is OK with our HR department.
  31. Is this really at the heart of where our core values are?
  32. Let me Google/Wikipedia/CraigsList that, and I’ll send you the results tomorrow.
  33. I’m gonna take a walk and mull that over.
  34. I’m so tired, I really don’t think I can concentrate well enough to give you the best response.
  35. It might be wise to take some time leverage this idea with some new perspectives.
  36. Before I make a decision, there are several other things I need to consider.
  37. We need to build some synergy first if we’re going to get this thing off of the ground.
  38. We need some feedback from upper management first.
  39. This is so big, we need to make sure we have 100% buy in.
  40. We’re doomed!! (Leave room screaming)
  41. I think my blood sugar is low.  I need some peanut butter.
  42. Let’s make a list of the pros and cons.
  43. We need to wait for a better window of opportunity.
  44. I’m not sure this is scalable.
  45. I’m not really sure who has the authority to make that decision?
  46. This issue doesn’t seem to be as “cut and dry” as you might think.
  47. You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.
  48. Will this really move the needle where we need it to go?
  49. Let’s organize the supply closet first.
  50. I don’t want to settle for the low hanging fruit.
  51. I’d like to show you how Amway changed my life.
  52. No.  I won’t give you an answer right now.  It’s not fair or considerate, so I just simply won’t do it.

What other responses would you add to this list?

What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…

About The Author

Articles By page-cole
I’m a dealer in hope… In my career, for seniors who want to stay safely in their own homes… in my family, that our best days are still yet to come… and in my sphere of influence, that we all have the ability to change our world, first and foremost by changing ourselves for the better!  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

josh  |  21 Nov 2013  |  Reply

I love #27…..

Diana Schneidman  |  21 Nov 2013  |  Reply

And number 51 is a hoot!

-d

Karin Hurt  |  21 Nov 2013  |  Reply

hmmmmmm……

David M. Dye  |  22 Nov 2013  |  Reply

53: If you need an answer this minute, the answer is no. I won’t make a snap decision on this. I’ll get back to you at x o’clock this afternoon or tomorrow. Will that work for you?

Chad Balthrop  |  23 Nov 2013  |  Reply

Great article. Knowing which questions to answer, how to answer them and what questions will be asked next because of the answers you give – sounds like leadership.

Urgent answers are only demanded:
– in an emergency.
– by people who don’t have the authority to function without permission.
– by people too scared to take responsibility.
– by people selling you something.

The first is acceptable. Two and three are indications where leadership can be strengthened. As the leader you can give them the authority or the courage to make this and future decision themselves.

You left off the answer that trumps them all – DENNY CRANE.

Join The Conversation