Does it also happen to you? As you listen to someone talking to you, you are preparing your answer at the same time. In private conversations, it can be even worse. You have had the same discussions over and over and you already know what your spouse is going to tell you. You even don’t bother listening. You just say your 5 cents.
I have been always preparing my answers as the other person talked. Until I had an interview with Susan.
Susan had sent her questions upfront. I reflected upon them and prepared roughly few points. When we did a dry run of the interview, I was surprised how I talked. It was pretty good!
Then we did it live. I was desperately trying to remember what I was saying during the dry run. It was bad. Luckily Susan`s phone rang and we took a break.
I realized that I was not listening to her questions at all. I was in my own world looking for the right answers. I was totally disconnected from her during the live interview. When I reconnected back to her questions as I did during the dry run, my answers were much better.
Later on, I thought about all the conversations when I wanted to say something clever so much that I did not listen properly to the questions and answered a pile of crap.
I have finally understood that the secret of giving great answers is not in preparing the answers upfront (before the discussion or during the discussion).
When you stay present and fully focused on what another person is telling you, you will have much higher chances to give a better response.
Well, it is not that simple. Sometimes the best answer needs time and further clarifications. Clarifications that you can do only when you stay present and focused. A topic for the next time.