Sunday, December 20, 2015

Say "I don't know" like a NY Crime Scene Investigator

The television show CSI is all about searching for information by asking questions. (My favorite happens to be CSI NY.)

From the beginning of the episode when the crime is committed until the end of the show when they snatch the bad guy, the Crime Scene Investigators continue to search for clues, question, make inferences, question again, reconcile conflicting evidence, question once more, create hypothesis, and then ask even more questions. As each show approaches breakthrough point where all the pieces of information fit together and a plausible story is constructed, the investigators ask each other questions to which they don't yet know the answers.

If you watch with a critical eye, you can pick up some tips for yourself when you don't have answers being asked of you. Here are some examples:

* "That's what we have to find out"
* "But whatever it is will bring us one step closer to an answer"
* "I'll find out and let you know"
* "I just did the math and it doesn't make sense"
* "Maybe, [offer suggestion]"
* "We're working on it"
* "I don't have a good answer as to why"
* "It's starting to take shape, we just don't know what shape that is"
* Q: "Do you think that...?" A: "If it is, then..."


Geordie Keitt said...

Wow, Bernie, I really like this. It's all about learning to deflect energy rather than "taking the hit." Deflect and reflect the energy of the question onto the problem instead of on yourself and your image or competence or the state of your knowledge. Thanks!

Bernie Berger said...

Hi Geordie, Yes...that's exactly what I was trying to convey. These are blame deflecting maneuvers that refocuses the inquiry to the issue at hand, in a positive way.