People Skills: Bite, Chew, then Answer... Chief Architect Pete Johnson gives a fascinating account in Web Worker Daily of a Senior Vice President's technique in answering questions from his team. Pete writes:

"Every time somebody asked a question, the SVP put something in his mouth. Easy questions got a quick sip of cola while harder questions corresponded to progressively larger bites of his turkey sandwich... This gave him time to formulate an intelligent response to harder questions in a more relaxed manner as opposed to remaining silent for 15 seconds while staring at the ceiling before answering... The result was well thought out answers and comfortable feelings..."
As I've said before, good design isn't just for products, it's for experiences, techniques, and as we can see here, even personal interactions. Beginning with identifying the problem (either answering before thinking or leaving an awkward pause before answering) and finding a solution that fits in perfectly with cultural norms (don't talk while you eat!) and context (business meetings with food) - that's just good design!
[via Lifehacker]

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