Be Ready for a challenge
In a meeting or a one to one discussion someone asks you a very difficult question. They may want to have an answer to a controversial matter or they may want to embarrass you. At any rate, don’t panic. Think through your answer carefully. Here is some additional help.
Anticipate questions or issues that will be raised. Be ready with some specific answers.
If you are surprised by a question which may touch on a bad result or a controversial decision you were involved in, take a moment to center yourself.
ASK FOR THE QUESTION AGAIN
You want to make sure that you heard the question or statement correctly. So ask the person to repeat it. This also gives you time to think. This time, also, listen very carefully.
If you need more time, it is OK to wait silently while you are thinking. In your hurry to answer, you may make the situation worse.
ASK FOR CLARIFICATION
It may be that the question is very broad. It is a good idea to find out exactly what the person is looking for. You have to be careful. If you don’t understand a particular technical term, ask for clarification.
NARROW YOUR ANSWER
Try to have an answer that focuses on one issue and perhaps give one example. A wide ranging rambling answer that is too general will not be satisfactory.
CONSIDER THE SOURCE OF THE QUESTION
The purpose of the question may be to embarrass you or has some other hostile intent. If this is the case, stay calm. Answer the question carefully. Resume the presentation or continue with the meeting. Do not be drawn into a heated exchange.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER. SAY SO.
It is much better to say you don’t know than to pretend that you do. You can say that you will get back to the person with the answer.
2. VERIFY THE QUESTION
3. GIVE A BRIEF ANSWER