Ask three questions before you share an opinion

I stole this tip from Staff Engineer by Will Larson.

In a potentially contentious meeting, ask three good questions before you share your perspective, and you’ll see the room shift around you.

Will Larson

If you want to be heard, listen. But that’s easier said than done. The book The Coaching Habit uses the word habit because breaking the habit of immediately giving advice is hard and takes practice.

That’s why I like the three-questions rule of thumb. It’s simple and memorable, and it’s hard to screw up. Follow that rule and two things will happen:

  1. People will feel heard and safe to speak up
  2. Your opinion, when you do share it, will be better informed

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