Ideas Every Day #304 – The 2 People per Answer Rule

Did you ever find yourself asking a question and the answer seems to drone on forever.  This is an especially common factor when you’re asking a question to a team of people.

Here’s something that should help you 1) save time and energy 2) help you get to ask more questions in the time you have 3) force the group to give you better quality, more thought out answers and 4) make the overall process less ridiculous.  Next time you’re about to have a question and answer period where you want to better control the meeting as the group asking the questions, institute a rule that the group answering can only have 2 people weigh in on the answer.

Imagine you’ve just been pitched a new opportunity by a consulting group.  They have a large team in the room showing you how committed they are to your business.  Now you and your team need to ask some questions.  You ask the first question, and thinking they are doing a good thing – just about everyone in the consulting group chimes in with his/her ‘add-on’ to the original answer.  What was a simple question you wanted a succinct answer to now just became an entire pile-on pitch by the whole group.

Unfortunately this happens all too often, and happens in all types of meetings.  I know I’ve been known to do the pile on too.  So, next time call out the rule, or better yet – make the issue known to everyone you know and hopefully you’ll all just regulate yourselves.

Yes, and…

Matt Kane

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