A pleasant non-answer serves an interesting role in relationships between people. As a general or vague response delivered with a cheery tone or a smile, it can soften bad news.  It can keep people in the dark about what you really think.  A non-answer might also buy you some time while you figure what to do next.  There are positive and negative aspects associated with the technique.

A non-answer is not really an answer at all because it is usually something that is obvious.  Speaking in generalities, people can employ the non-answer to breeze through meetings while appearing smart and in-the-know.  They could also use it to avoid making commitments to people.

In a time when people are searching for what is real and substantive, a non-answer doesn’t help.  A person using it could come off as superficial, lacking depth, or pursuing an ulterior motive.

There is value in getting real with your answers and providing people with what they need.  It can also serve to cut through the noise and chatter that dominates organizational conversations and human relationships.

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