Ways to distinguish yourself – #115 Get to the real question please…

I have written a lot about questions and there is a still a lot more to
write. The internet has made it easy to find answers for our questions.
This is just great. However, this is causing a problem too. The moment
we have a question, we try to find answers from various sources out
there. Mostly, you will not find ONE answer but many answers. The rest
of your time now gets spent in analyzing the variety of answers that
you get from various sources. Since there is a possibility of finding a
LOT of answers, your new problem will be to figure out the right answer. What you forget is that you may have asked the wrong question.

I have subscribed to about nine different mailing lists. All the lists
are alive and kicking. I learn a lot from the conversations that happen
on the lists and wherever possible answer some queries. Last week,
there was an interesting question on one of the lists. The question was
simple –

“Should I be honest in my exit interview?”

There were about three responses and all of them were great. Three
different perspectives. Each response made me think. In that sense the
responses were very valuable. The next logical step for the person who
posed the question would be to analyze the responses and draw her own
conclusions. However, I was not fully convinced about the real problem
over here. Here was my response.

fact that you are asking the question about whether to be honest in an
exit interview suggests that you have some information that may not be
pleasant to be shared and you want to know whether to share it or not.
My question back to you is to think and see why was this information
not shared with the right people when you were working over there?
There is no right or wrong answer to this. The only thing that you can
do is to go and find an employment at a place where you can honestly
share such information when you are working rather than debating about
it during an exit interview.

My assessment is that the real problem was one or more situation(s) at
work that were not pleasant. The problem she should be really worried
about is how she could avoid getting into a similar work situation
again in her life.

The first question was valid and needed to be answered. The real question, however,   should have been:

“How do I ensure that I join a company where the work environment is great?”

Remember that even if you get the right answer for a wrong question, it’s still of no use 🙁