Yes or No Questions

People do not like too many choices and procrastinate making decisions. Even the most opinionated people I know do not always answer your question in a timely fashion.

The easiest way to get a response? Make your question as easy as possible to answer. Don’t bury it with information, encrypt it in an email or forget the question mark. Provide a concise brief upfront and ask a yes or no question. Make it a multiple choice question if you need to. At the very least, provide the recipient with possible answers so he or she does not need to do the research or draft an elaborate answer of his or her own. Take the opportunity to curtail the list of possible answers to meet your own needs. If the recipient comes up with an answer other than the ones provided, whatever. At least you got an answer.

Busy people (like CEOs and celebrities) are notorious for single-line emails. Help them keep that pace and not bog them down with answering your question. The more you help them and consider their time, the easier it will be to get an answer – and the greater chances you will have at getting an answer you like.


A Vendetta Against Neckties

Amedeo Modigliani [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsI have never liked neckties. They are uncomfortable, untimely to dress and useless accessories to otherwise utilitarian garb. I can appreciate style, but the necktie is impractical. Seriously, what’s the point? Scarves make sense to me. And while not fashionable, so do bibs. But not neckties. Not anymore.

The necktie, originally called a “cravat,” was first popularized by Croatian mercenaries in the 1630s (part of my ancestry). Unpopular lore suggests these garments were used by the warriors to wipe clean their bloodied swords and flaunted as trophies of valor. The bloodier the cravat, the greater the man. While other European militias struck uniform accessories from their budgets, the Croatians struck enemies with their killer fashion sense. Bloody or not, the Croatian warriors built a reputation throughout the Western world and their linen trademark caught the attention of aristocracy. Before long, King Louis XIV embraced the necktie and the rest is history.

The modern necktie is nothing more than a corporate leash and a masturbatory symbol for power and wealth. If the world’s men spent less time tying knots at their gullets and more time changing the world, we could have flying cars by now.

Loosen your tie and share this with your boss.