Q: Do you have any coffee?
A: Allow me to show you how to craft a cappuccino.
While you may not work in a cafe, you have experienced this sort of exchange.
Answering the question that is asked is surprisingly challenging.
When listening, your brain incorporates more than the words which are spoken.
You unconsciously add in seemingly relevant context, opinions, and social evaluations.
This is problematic in terms of quality of listening.
Your brain, a prediction engine, adds in information before the question is fully articulated.
The end result? You provide a thesis on the history of espresso when asked if you enjoy flat whites.
Perhaps you know a better answer than the question itself elicits.
Regardless, the question-asker would prefer an answer to their question, not yours.
If you find yourself answering a different question than that which is asked, you skipped a step.
There is a pot of coffee at the end of the rainbow,