How many times have you been asked a question that causes ‘brain fog’ even if you know the answer? Maybe your audience is intimidating. Perhaps the topic is sensitive or emotional. Suddenly, you find yourself stammering or rambling. And after the damage is done you remember what you should have said.
Many of us believe that a select few are born with the ability to skillfully handle impromptu situations. The reality is that there are three practical tips anyone can apply to respond effectively when caught off guard. This is is tip No.1.
TOP TIP No 1: Listen to understand your audience before you react
In today’s fast-paced world, we feel the need to think and speak quickly. When we hear a question, we often begin to reply before the other person stops talking.
There are times when you can quickly make your point and move on and everybody is happy. And there are also times when listening carefully and asking for clarity is essential to finding the right answer.
For example, you are talking to your team about implementing a new process and you hear “Why is this company always making things more complicated”. A good listener will acknowledge that change can be challenging. If spoken with sincerity it will help move the conversation in the right direction.
Then, ask them for an example of what they mean. Chances are this will help defuse the situation and lead you to their real concern.