There are many times in business when an answer is required. A customer asking you a question about your product. An investor asking you about the market. A sales lead asking you about competitors.
A good answer is seldom necessary. It’s enough that you listened and answered the question. They may not be happy with your answer but satisfied to move on.
This is an important lesson because it can feel like a catastrophe when you’re asked a tough question or something you haven’t prepared for. Just keep in mind that in a very large percentage of these situations, people will be okay with the fact that you merely answered their question.
- This is why bullshitters are so effective and so problematic
- Rather than evaluating an answer with “does this sound reasonable?”, evaluate it with “is this a good explanation?”
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When negotiating, it’s important to control the frame in which the conversation is happening. The frame constrains what kinds of ideas can be explored and the rules that govern evaluating them. When you step into someone else’s frame in a negotiation, you become bound to the constraints they set.