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VP gives pop quizzes

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in Office Management,Workplace Communication

Q. I deal with a domineering VP who uses the quizzing technique. Instead of telling us something, he quizzes us to see if we can read his mind. Victims end up looking dumb. I don’t want to be the next victim, but I need to impress this VP to get ahead. Is there a diplomatic way I can get him to answer his own questions?

A. Don’t let the next round of quizzing get started. Head it off by expressing curiosity on the topic. Raise examples of perplexing results. Share some theories or pose questions. With luck, the VP will become intellectually curious and help search for answers.

Here’s another approach: When he launches the quizzing game, answer the question by providing three possible “right” answers. Weigh the pros and cons. If you don’t rush to guess, you’ll gain three advantages. First, you’ll impress him with your intellect. Second, he may tip his hand and reveal the answer he seeks. Third, he might grow restless and quiz someone else!

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