Dear Evil Skippy:
How do you handle dumb questions when you are the trainer? Please tell me you are not one of those people who says there are no dumb questions.
I love dumb questions because they are the kind I can answer. Even better are the fake questions (the dolt just wants to show how smart they are) that make me want to slap the irritating, over-achieving show-offs who ask them.
If it’s a truly idiotic question, home run! I have someone to mock throughout the rest of the session and they have to be good sports about it unless they want everyone to think they have no sense of humor. I call that a win (for me, anyway).
— Evil Skippy
I actually can’t recall being asked a question during training that I thought was “dumb”. There were some that were annoying because it was clear the person had not been paying attention to what had already been covered or they waltzed into class late and then wanted to go over what they missed. Others are annoying for the reason mentioned by ES – it’s obvious the people just want to show off how rather than move the discussion along.
Whether a question is good or not so good, I answer it and move on. I act as if the question is a serious one, but only give it the amount of time and attention it warrants based on the points I want the class members to learn. In some cases, that is not much time at all. There have been a few times when I have to take defensive measures to get a questioner under control. In those situations, I suddenly can’t see the person’s hand in the air or that they are trying to make eye contact with me. This usually takes care of the Annoying Question Person, but sometimes I have to be persistent.
For the more difficult cases, it’s Taser Time. Check the batteries before class starts. Trust me.
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