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Smart People Don’t Answer Questions At Once, They Follow These Steps First

Smart People Don’t Answer Questions At Once, They Follow These Steps First

Many of us think that the faster we respond, the smarter we sound.

But have you regretted saying the wrong things and you wish you didn’t say it so quickly? Remember how you often realize you should say this instead of that before you go to bed?

The best response usually don’t come instantly, and smart people know this very well. Before they answer a question, they go through some steps first.

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    The flow is, pause before everything else. Then, divert the question if you don’t want to answer it actually. But if you want to answer and can do it at once, hold yourself before the editing process.

    Pause and allow yourself to think

    When you can’t think of an answer immediately, and people are waiting for you, don’t let the pressure to respond quickly stop you from saying “let me think” or “I need some time to think about it”. It’s better to wait for a while for a great answer than replying at once with nonsense. People won’t remember how long you take to process the answer after they get wowed and impressed by your amazing and logical thoughts.

    Dodge the question with skill

    We all have that moment when someone asked an inappropriate question. Sometimes, you are not required to answer every question thrown at you. While you think and pause, you can divert the question if you don’t feel like answering that question or you just don’t know the answer. Robert MacNamara epitomized this when he said,

    Never answer the question that is asked of you. Answer the question that you wish had been asked.

    It goes for any tricky situation, like a job interview.

    Imagine the interviewer asks you on the reason of quitting your previous job, you don’t have to explain yourself. You could simply say, “Talking about my previous job, I did this and that. I learned and developed different skills like managerial skills, communication skills, etc. And I wish to challenge myself more.

    While you are not completely responding what the other person is asking, you are giving them a rational answer, and selling yourself at the same time. This is the magical power of language.

    Of course, there are more methods to diverting a question, like turning the tables or using transition devices to move to the next question, here is more.

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    Edit your words before you say them aloud

    Smart people don’t stutter. While they pause before answering, they think about few things:

    • How can I present my ideas in a way people can understand at once?
    • How can I impress them with my answer?
    • Would my answer be inappropriate or offensive?

    Take the flow, the content, and the length of your response all into deep consideration, and you could definitely stun your listeners with your answer.

    If possible, visualize a mind map in your head and quickly go through the points you want to hit, and elaborate on your points as you are answering the question.

    That’s hard, I am bad at putting my thoughts together.

    You don’t have to overshare when you are giving an answer. Sometimes less is more. Don’t give yourself too much pressure and to give the “perfect” response. In most situations, there is not an absolute answer. There is also not a rubric grading how all-arounded or politically correct your answer is.

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    To sound smart, you simply pause and think of what you want to say, take a deep breath and answer with confidence. The more you practice this pause-then-answer method, I’m sure you will sharpen your skill and perfect the art of answering questions in no time.

    Featured photo credit: Kazuhiro Shiozawa via flickr.com

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    Frank Yung

    Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

    How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

    If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

    Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

    So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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    1. Listen

    Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

    2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

    Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

    “Why do you want to do that?”

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    “What makes you so excited about it?”

    “How long has that been your dream?”

    You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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    3. Encourage

    This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

    4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

    After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

    5. Dream

    This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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    6. Ask How You Can Help

    Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

    7. Follow Up

    Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

    Final Thoughts

    By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

    Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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    Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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