I Am Not a Mind Reader!

May 8, 2014

Carnac the MagnificentIf you are of a certain age, you will likely get a chuckle when I mention the character name of Carnac the Magnificent. If the name isn’t immediately familiar to you, it was a recurring comedy sketch where Johnny Carson would provide an answer to a question before opening the envelope containing the question.

Of course Johnny wasn’t a mind reader and the questions and answers were often delivered with sarcasm about the topics of the day. So I say with my tongue firmly in cheek, I am not a mind reader!

Why do I say this? I am convinced people who e-mail me believe I can read their mind because they provide little to no information and just a question that is impossible to answer with the information provided.

This often leads to everyone being frustrated. The person who asked the question is frustrated that a definitive answer wasn’t provided. I’m frustrated because I ask questions in return that will give me the information I need to provide an answer…yet never get answers to my question.

For example, someone says “I push a button and get an error message”. I may ask in return: What button? What page were you on? What did the error message say?

Several people have said very little other than they own CorelDRAW. I have no idea their skill level, their budget or even what they want to create with CorelDRAW. They may ask what products they need to buy. Since I know so little, I can only suggest they buy everything we offer. Others have asked how many days of training they need. I honestly don’t know, but I hope it will include as many days as possible.

As I often say to people, “help me help you.” If you would like me to provide a definitive answer to your question, provide the details I will need to give you that answer. When I ask questions that will help me give you the answer you want, I need you to answer my questions. This allows answers to be provided as quickly as possible and decreases the frustration level for everyone.

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III built his first Web site in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013. He has used the Divi theme exclusively since 2015. Earlier in his career he was the author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences.

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