I often see folks in mediation dodging a question they would rather not answer. I'm frequently surprised that they are not picked up on it and get away with shepherding the conversation to safer ground.
A recent Harvard study, Conversational Blindness: Answering the Wrong Question the Right Way by Todd Rogers and Michael Norton found;
>A successful dodge occurs when a speaker's answer to the wrong question is so compelling that the listener both forgets the right one, and rates the dodger positively. In some cases, speakers end up better off by answering the wrong question well rather than the right question poorly.
[full research paper here]
Geoff is author of the award winning blog mediator blah...blah... a mediation blog experiment in reflective practice and the Mediation vBlog Project, a kind of mediation genome project by video blog.