It’s the way I ask them.
If you asked me what I’d had for lunch, I’d tell you that I’d had a coffee and three bars of chocolate, and you’d (understandably) be worried. Or perhaps surprised that it contained no reference to alcohol or maybe you assumed that the chocolate bars were in a martini!
If you asked me to list everything that I’d had to eat at lunch I’d give you the list above, plus I’d add in some green tea, a chicken salad, some nuts and an apple. Still not an ideal menu, but it sounds much more balanced than before, although you might think that it was rather a lot for one meal.
If you asked me what I’d eaten since 7 pm last night, you’d get the same answer, because after dinner last night I didn’t eat again until lunchtime today. Suddenly, instead of it sounding like a huge meal, when you might assume I’d had breakfast as well, knowing that I hadn’t had breakfast makes the lunchtime meal sound more reasonable.
If, having been told what I asked for lunch, you asked searching questions such as how big were the chocolate bars, and I told you that they were the Green and Blacks mini bars at 15g each (from a very large box sent from a grateful client!) suddenly I’ve had a very healthy lunch, with a small quantity of high quality chocolate which (apparently) has health benefits.
So I’d have answered all of the questions above perfectly truthfully and honestly, but each answer would give you a different view of my eating habits.
You may say that you don’t care what I ate today and I’d be pleased to know that you have more important things going on in your life than my dietary requirements. However, if you are involved in business, such as disputes, or buying and selling businesses, then knowing not just how to ask questions but also how to interpret the answers (or what’s missing from those answers) and how to ask follow up questions could be worth their weight in a whole box full of high quality chocolate bars.
Which means that if you need straight (and full) answers to important legal questions, the first question you should be asking yourself is where we’re going to meet for a drink and a chat!
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Asking (and answering) all the important questions.