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to ask hard questions

English translation: challenging questions

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11:25 Feb 22, 2008
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Social Sciences - Social Science, Sociology, Ethics, etc.
English term or phrase: to ask hard questions
Hello! IN what way the questions that the former boss asks the manager are "hard"?In the sense that they questioned the decision he had nearly come to? (Besides, is a mother tongue speaker able, in your opinion, to understand which decision he had come to?) Thx!
"Consider the comment of a manager at CIBC Oppenheimer about dealing with a stockbroker who made a mistake in a client's statement but failed to notify the client:
"I was facing a tough decision about whether to fire this broker or just reprimand him for knowingly violating our policy. I wrestled with it in my head for almost a week and pretty much made up my mind about what I was going to do. But I gave his former boss a call and talked it through with her. She was really sympathetic and knew that I was struggling. She made me talk out my decision and asked me hard questions along the way. We looked at the problem from several perspectives: mine, my boss's, the broker's and the client's."
This manager statement suggests that the goals of the sender and receiver substantially influence the communication process."
xxxMaverick82
Local time: 09:01
English translation:challenging questions
Explanation:
It means that she asked him questions which really made him think about the situation from all aspects - they challenged him to think his decision through.

The text quoted doesn't tell you what decision was actually taken in the end.
I'd *guess* that initially he'd decided to fire the broker, but then called the broker's former boss because he wasn't sure. The "but" hints that he may have changed his mind as a result of talking it over, but there's no way of really knowing what his initial decision was and whether he changed his mind as a result of the phone call.
Selected response from:

Marie-Hélène Hayles
Local time: 09:01
Grading comment
Thanks to both of you! :-)

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2challenging questions
Marie-Hélène Hayles
3See comments below...
Tony M


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
to ask hard questions (in this context)
See comments below...


Explanation:
Not necessarily, Luca — they might incidentally lead him to question his initial decision, but I don't think that is the key point of 'hard' — if you like, they are questions that are 'tough to answer' — possibly because they involve self-examination, for example, or other thought-processes that are unwelcome / uncomfortable; but it might just mean that the answers are hard to come up with — not self-evident, or whatever.

Tony M
France
Local time: 09:01
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
to ask hard questions (in this context)
challenging questions


Explanation:
It means that she asked him questions which really made him think about the situation from all aspects - they challenged him to think his decision through.

The text quoted doesn't tell you what decision was actually taken in the end.
I'd *guess* that initially he'd decided to fire the broker, but then called the broker's former boss because he wasn't sure. The "but" hints that he may have changed his mind as a result of talking it over, but there's no way of really knowing what his initial decision was and whether he changed his mind as a result of the phone call.

Marie-Hélène Hayles
Local time: 09:01
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks to both of you! :-)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Arcoiris
40 mins

agree  V_N
1 day11 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Feb 22, 2008 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Term askedto ask hard questions (in this context) » to ask hard questions


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