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How to Answer a Loaded Question

        posted by , June 03, 2013

What Is It?

A loaded question is a question that's based on an unjustified assumption.

Loaded questions are generally used to trip up or embarrass an adversary.

Definition: Loaded Question

A loaded question is a political strategy that asks a question that includes unjustified and/or accusing assumptions.

Examples of Loaded Questions

Is your project still running late?
How many millions are you over budget?
Is your team dusting off their resumes?
Why are most of your customers unsatisfied?
Why are your competitors more innovative than you?
When are you going out of business?
Did you apologize yet for your big failure?
Have you fixed your broken strategy?

Defensive Tactics

It's important to defend yourself from a loaded question.

Never answer the question. By answering the question, you may imply that you agree to the question's assumptions.

Defensive tactics include:

  • Call it out
    That's a loaded question!

  • Critical Questions
    Where did you get that information?
    Why do you assume that?
    What's that suppose to mean?

  • Answer to the assumption instead of the question
    Ignore the question and attack the unfair assumption.

  • Laugh it off
    In many cases, a loaded question is asked with a touch of humor. If you take the question seriously you may be portrayed as uptight. A good witty rejoinder is often the idea response.

Next: Defense In Depth »

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