Great Answers to Tough Questions at Work
Difficult questions can be thrown at you from your first job interview through to challenges you get when you've made it to the top. If you find yourself on the firing line on a regular or occasional basis this is the perfect go-to guide to help you turn tough questions into positive opportunities.
Great Answers to Tough Questions at Work promotes a confident 'win-win-win' mindset for questioner, answerer and wider audiences beyond. Author Michael Dodd provides golden formulae and proven strategies for constructing inspirational answers-however challenging, vicious, tricky or stupid the question. He outlines simple but successful techniques for dealing with the kind of nightmare questions which all ambitious people in the workplace have to face along their journey, whatever stage of their career.
Contains critical communication skills for executives, managers, leaders and those aspiring to fill these roles
Covers a wide range of work place scenarios such as job interviews, performance reviews, negotiations, customer relations, parliamentary inquiries and cross-examination
Discusses how to see the issues underlying tough questions that you face in a different, more positive, solution-oriented way
Includes case study examinations of key moments where people in the public spotlight have done something particularly well or particularly badly while answering questions and draws out the lessons for readers.
Great Answers to Tough Questions at Work
Introduction: Helping You Thrive On "Blowtorch-On-The-Belly" Questioning
At some stage it happens to nearly all of us.
We're asked a question by the boss, a job selection board or a potential client - and we say something really stupid.
Maybe, on a bad day, it can even be a combination of all three.
And then you realize a short time afterwards what you should have said.
This human experience is so common, the French have an expression for it.
They talk about the annoying phenomenon of thinking up the perfect thing that should have come out of your lips all too late - while you're on the stairs leaving after that bruising verbal encounter: "L'espirit d'escalier", otherwise known as "the spirit of the stairs" or "staircase wit".
This book contains solutions to this and related problems.
It guides you on what you should say and how best to say it in challenging situations throughout your working life.
Whether you're asked "Why should you be promoted?", "Why aren't there any pens in the stationery cabinet when I asked you to get some last month?" or "Why should I invest in your billion-dollar project?", this book helps you formulate answers that are set to be more impressive, more reassuring and more inspiring than the ones you're giving now.
It gives you the techniques and the amazingly effective golden formulae for dealing with hard questions, nasty questions and stupid questions.
Drawing on my background as a broadcast interviewer, with training by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in the art of putting business leaders, politicians, officials and others under pressure, this book will show you how to stand up to what have been described as "blowtorch-on-the-belly" questions.
This is a technical term from the world of Australian politics - reputedly the place where dialogue is the most vicious in the democratic world.
It applies to situations where interrogators subject you to sustained, rugged, painful questioning - the kind you could expect in the most ferocious of media interviews for instance.
"Blowtorch-on-the-belly" questioning can also be deployed against you in the boardroom, in a career appraisal and anytime something's gone wrong and the finger of blame is pointing at you.
Doing badly when subjected to this kind of questioning can damage your career and even lose you your job.
Doing well through decisive, positive and uplifting answers can help propel you towards outcomes you want in the workplace and beyond.
As a media interviewer, I've watched some business leaders, officials and politicians set fire to their careers and public image by losing their tempers, their nerve and their dignity when put under pressure by myself and others.
I've also seen some of them do what the front cover of this book suggests and successfully put the fire out - sometimes seemingly with very little effort - and then inject powerful, positive ideas and visions into the conversation to move things in the direction they want.
One particularly memorable incident was when Britain's highly controversial Margaret Thatcher came to Sydney in the earlier years of her prime ministership. At the time she was administering harsh and unpopular cost-cutting medicine to the struggling economy of the UK. Our star tough-guy interviewer at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation couldn't land a glove on her as she gave him and our audience a stern lecture about the importance of the principle she called "sound money".
There was much to throw at her about the initial negative side-effects of the medicine - and the tough-guy interviewer didn't hold back from this. Yet the aptly named Iron Lady steamed through the interview as if a battle ship were being harried by the smallest of mosquitos.
I noticed the same phenomenon - of some politicians, business