Well it is day four and my true love is at it again…
On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me..a heart full of confidence and joy
On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me ..two brilliant questions
On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me…three alternatives to err
And on the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me……FOUR steps to answering questions ( yes, I know it doesn’t scan but stick with it!)
Step One: Acknowledge the answer. This important even if you know the answer and in your head you are saying easy peasy. It is important if you don’t know the answer and in your head you are saying oh heck. And it is important if in your head you are seriously questioning the questioner’s intelligence. it is is important because it is respectful, it gives the questioner ‘significance’ and above all it gives you time to consider and think.. So a pause is great or phrases like, ‘ thank you ‘, that’s a great question’ no one has asked me that before, let me think’, Hmm, a challenging one…’
Step Two: Frame your answer to give it structure. We do this so that it makes sense , not just to us or the questioner but to everyone else as well. By framing I mean using words and phrases like, ‘ there are two issues here…’, I guess that highlights three things…’, I think what you are asking is…’
Step Three: Answer the question ( if you know the answer. If you don’t say so and add in some action on your part ie you will find out or chat over coffee). While you answer the question, start off by looking at the questioner, then look at the whole audience as you answer . This will mean all the audience is included and participates in the answer. If you only answer the questioner, everyone else will switch off and get ready to leave!
Step Four: Return your eye contact to the questioner and check that you have answered the question. Sometimes you will then want to break off eye contact because you do not want a follow up question or you wish to give someone else a chance to ask a question. You can check in with he questioner either by asking if you have answered their question or simply by nodding and moving on.
So, what shall we do on the fifth day of Christmas. Post your comments and suggestions below.
Thank you to Useful Graphics for the fab FREE pictures