Tuesday Tactic: Surf the silence.
I often hear inexperienced (and experienced!) podcast interviewers ask a good question and then, while the interviewee is formulating an answer, fill all the silence by elaborating.
Drives me nuts!
We also do this as leaders.
We step on the silence.
We ask a hard question and when the respondent needs a moment to organize their response, we start adding. More words. More elaboration. More qualifications.
Learn to surf the silence. Meaning, learn to be comfortable with silence that might otherwise be uncomfortable.
It’s a skill.
During professional coach training, the instructors always urged us to ask shorter, more succinct questions and then wait for the response. They urged us to sit in the silence.
The instructors said, “the silence allows them to formulate a thoughtful response. If you keep talking through the silence, they will get distracted. Distracted people never get to the good stuff.”
The harder the questions, the more time you have to allow for an answer. Surf the silence.