Effective communication has become a life-changing skill that can open doors of opportunities or pave the way for success.
Whether it’s a regular conversation or an important interview, handling tactical questions effectively can determine the outcome.
This write-up seeks to explore five ways to handle tactical conversations. After reading this, you’ll be better equipped to navigate tricky situations with confidence and grace.
1. Prepare for Challenging Questions
Whether you’re gearing up for an interview, a meeting, or a casual outing with unfamiliar individuals, planning is key. It’s essential to do your research and map out every potential question that might arise.
This mental exercise prepares you for the possibilities, and even if those specific questions don’t pop up, your proactive readiness keeps your brain alert and your mind sharp. This facilitates smooth responses.
2. Seek Clarification by Asking Questions
Before answering a tactical question, it’s important to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the question at hand. Certain questions can be tricky by nature and what you perceive them to encompass may differ from their actual scope.
Therefore, before providing answers to tactical questions, take the time to fully understand the question. For clarity, consider posing follow-up questions to clarify the specifics of the inquiry you’re facing.
3. Involve the Other Party in the Conversation
When faced with a tactical question to which you lack a ready answer, it’s advisable to involve the questioner in the conversation. You can do this by appealing to their emotions instead of directly stating your inability to respond.
People often appreciate feeling and understanding, and everyone has preferred ways of handling situations. So by tapping into their emotions, you get an insight into their perspectives, which can guide your answer.
Instead of blatantly saying, “I have no idea”, make sentences such as;
“How would you like me to handle this?”
“What do you aim to gain from this?”
4. Consider Not Answering Immediately
When confronted with a challenging question for which you lack a suitable answer, it can be beneficial to refrain from an immediate response.
Instead, you can choose to answer a part of the question that falls within your knowledge, and then request an extension to carry out proper research and provide a better answer at a later point.
5. Pause Before Responding
It’s highly essential that when you’re faced with a difficult question, you maintain composure and not display your inconvenience openly.
Pause briefly to gather your thoughts and take deep breaths, ensuring that your words are expressed with clarity and thoughtfulness.
The momentary pause enables you to properly reflect and handle the question with greater articulation.
A bonus tip is to pay attention to your body language. It’s important to ensure your facial expressions don’t reflect fear or confusion. Your words should be in harmony with your actions. Show genuine interest in wanting to know more, and let your facial expressions mirror it.
Engage in eye contact, nod periodically, or take notes to demonstrate your attentiveness.
Researched by Olukotun Joan