Answer First, Story Second

by Larry Emmott on July 30, 2020

in Management

More wisdom from Katherine Eitel Belt of  Lion Speak:

Randy stopped me. And then gave me a piece of communication advice that I found simple and profound: Give the answer first. Then, tell the story.

He had asked me a straightforward question, and I was deep into my story before I ever came close to answering it. He rightly warned that I would risk losing my audience’s attention, and possibly their patience, if I did not quickly answer the question and then go on to tell my story.

I ruminated on this advice on my drive home from the studio and thought about all the times I observed a patient in a client office asking a simple question of a doctor or team member such as, “Will this hurt?” … only to have the professional launch into a “story” about it before simply answering, “no” or “not much.”

Source: Answer First, Story Second | LionSpeak

I have never heard this expressed this way before but the moment I read it I said to myself, YES YES YES!

I see people do this all the time. They must believe they are being good communicators but the truth is just the opposite. They are muddling up the conversation. Answer first, which very often is a simple yes or no.

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