Help! Vanna White is in my head!

Accent Reduction, Guiding Your Listeners, The Three Ones(tm)


Now that I have your attention!

Everyone has had the experience of being asked a question and then freezing because they are overwhelmed with the number of correct answers with which they could respond. I call this the “Wheel of Fortune” syndrome. The wheel is whirring through your brain, stopping at a number that consists of all the data you know which is connected to this question.

When you are hit with this overload, let Vanna out of your head and choose one of these two simple responses:

  1. Give the first answer ONLY and follow up with that most welcome of questions, “Does that answer your question?”
  2. Instead of doing a data dump on an innocent bystander, get more detail from them BEFORE you answer. Try, “I could go in several directions with my response, so let me find out more specifically what you need.”

I guarantee you that very few of your colleagues and associates are using these techniques, and you will look all the better for choosing them. You will appear knowledgeable and succinct. You will become a popular go-to person because of your smart, short answers. And your habit of digging for more information will enhance your reputation as a long-term, strategic thinker.

So let go of Vanna’s wheel, and allow the vowels and consonants of dialogue and communication become your bywords (have I carried this analogy too far?)!

Till next time,


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