When someone asks you a question, before you answer it, do two things:
- Wait until the person asking the question is completely finished before answering.
- Paraphrase the question and repeat it back to the person who asked, to ensure you understand what you’re asking.
Too often in meetings I will listen to two people have a conversation that started with a question that was not understood by the person being asked. The result is a lot of round and round, which is not only a waste of time for everyone, but can also lead the discussion to unnecessary tangents.
So before you answer a question, seek first to understand. It might save you a lot of time and headaches.