How well do you stand up to blowtorch-on-the-belly questioning in the workplace – from clients, prospects, officials, colleagues and journalists?
Are you better at answering questions than the British Government’s hard-working but often befuddled Health Secretary, Matt Hancock?
Before we look at Matt Hancock’s latest abysmal performance, just imagine if the politician had visited a fortune-teller two years ago to ask how many media interviews he would be doing in 2020 and 2021.
An accurate fortune-teller would have answered “lots and lots and lots of interviews, Mr Hancock”.
This is because since Coronavirus struck, Matt Hancock has been in high demand in TV studios to explain and defend his government’s contentious policies and bumpy progress against the pandemic.
Mr Hancock may well have been pleased to hear the “lots and lots and lots of interviews” answer from a fortune-teller, which has indeed come true.
The only problem for Matt Hancock, is that he often tends to give rubbish answers to tough questions – or to blatantly avoid answering them altogether.
If the fortune-teller had been any good at giving advice, she might have said: “Mr Hancock, what you need to do to benefit from all these future interviews is learn how to give great answers to avoid making yourself look silly.”
Such advice would have been based on the sound principle that if you’re going to be subjected to tough questions, it’s wise to learn how best to deal with them by deploying honesty, grace and effectiveness BEFORE it’s too late.
If Matt Hancock has ever been given this advice from anyone it seems – based on his latest question-answering performances – that he hasn’t yet taken it.
One of the things Mr Hancock, some of his fellow politicians and many business people need to realise is that the key to taking the pressure off when facing tough questions is to deal openly and honestly with them.
ANSWER THE QUESTION WITHOUT WRECKING YOUR REPUTATION
It’s important to also get across a key message within each response.
But in order to convey your message effectively you must first actually provide a credible answer.
If you just seek to get across your message without answering the question, viewers everywhere will scream at their TVs something like: “Just answer the question Mr Hancock!!!”
Matt Hancock’s latest series of non-answers have come in an interview with Good Morning Britain hosted by Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.
The programme has been looking at the government’s provision of free lunches to children in poorer families who are currently prevented from going to school by the latest Coronavirus lockdown.
The government adopted the free-lunches-at-home policy after a campaign by the heroic footballer, Marcus Rashford – who benefitted from free school meals as a schoolboy.
The majority of parliamentarians voted in favour of providing the lunches when it came to a House of Commons division last October.
But Mr Hancock was one of the politicians who voted against the idea.
Nonetheless, Mr Hancock repeatedly told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that he’s “glad” the free meals are now being provided.
Alas his message of excessive “gladness” doesn’t work.
This is because Mr Hancock continually refused to answer questions about whether he now regretted voting against the free school meals policy.
Be warned that Matt Hancock’s car crash of a performance isn’t pretty to watch.
But if you’re tough enough, it’s worth forcing yourself to look at Mr Hancock’s flawed approach to understand the importance of providing a straight answer before conveying your message.
Click on this video if you dare to watch.
LEARNING FROM MATT HANCOCK’S MISTAKES
The First Golden Formula for tackling tough questions involves gracefully and honestly answering them – AND only then conveying your message.
The formula is explained in “Great Answers To Tough Questions At Work” which is at:
A free signed copy of the book will be sent to Matt Hancock if he emails to claim it at: email@example.com
I will indeed be “glad” if he does, as watching his car crash interviews is rather painful.
If you and/or members of your team need to learn the art of giving great answers to tough questions, booked sessions can be conducted on line or on the phone.
And where it’s safe to hold them on your premises or at conference centres, they can be run face-to-face at a social distance.
Other communications-boosting sessions can be run on the same basis.
These sessions include:
+ GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS IN 60 SECONDS – ONLINE OR FACE-TO-FACE
+ PRESENTING WITH CONFIDENCE, IMPACT AND PIZZAZZ – IN THE ROOM OR ON THE ZOOM
+ BECOME AN INSPIRATIONAL BUSINESS LEADER IN 12 HOURS
+ YOUR BESPOKE COMMUNICATIONS COACHING PROGRAMME – FOR YOU AND/OR YOUR TEAM
There’s more about the various communications-boosting sessions available for individuals and organisations at: http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/michael-dodd-services/
And the complete list of communications-boosting sessions for business leaders’ groups is at: http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/workshops-for-business-leaders-groups/
A NOT-SO-GREAT ANSWER FROM A SUPPORTER OF DONALD TRUMP
Meanwhile, as the world hopefully enters a potential new era of (relative) American political sanity, you may miss some of the thoughts from supporters of the outgoing U.S. President, Donald J Trump.
So before you miss them too much, take a look at what happened to one Trump supporter in this very short video below who opened his mouth without thinking things through in advance.
This resulted in his line “We’re not stupid. Donald J Trump is a genius; that’s what the ‘J’ stands for.”
Do be aware that even unorthodox American spellings don’t involve spelling “genius” with a “j”.
This is why “Great Answers To Tough Questions At Work” has been written – for everyone who can read and spell… and may even be helpful for those who can’t!