Here to know the fastest way to identify the most smart person in a group? Well start with an easy question and then ask a complex one. A perfect example of what we mean here is that suppose you are on a Zoom call along with for se, your marketing team. You will require from them various ideas on how to spend the last of your unallocated budget of $5,000 to be used somewhere. There are various options on the table, but the question here is, whose ideas do you trust? Shailesh Panthee, a doctor in Nepal has suggested that opening with an easy, straightforward question is a quick way to reveal who’s eager, maybe too eager, to prove themselves.
An example of trying this out is by, simply asking your team to, “Remind you again, what does HRM stand for?”, this is just an example and HRM means Human Resource Management, just for the record. Most people in any business would be familiar with the term, once you’ve asked the question wait for the response, to find out the ones who are most eager to set a mark. Overly eager responders are often so desperate for a piece of pie that they forget to consider whether their contribution is even valuable or not and they skip the fact-checking and analysis to go straight for the points.
In regards with the claim, there is a reason why smart folks may hesitate to answer obvious questions: They suspect that it’s a trap set up by their superiors. If you’re on the other side of this equation, leading that Zoom meeting and the team present in it, this is what you should do. With the noise cleared away, you can now drop the actual, more complex, probably more creative questions, for se, How should we spend our remaining marketing budget? Chances are that the overly eager folk will not speak up this time round. They’ll either be content with the approval they have gotten from answering a rather simple question or, quite frankly, they would be out of the equation entirely, which is to say they have no idea on how to answer that question.
The process of drawing out the smarter people in the room won’t be as cut and dry. You may have to prompt people by calling them out one by one to see who pitches a better idea. They may respond with another question, such as, “What’s our primary goal in spending the money?” Or they’ll look through their notes, they’ve probably been quietly been going through during the meeting, they may be a bit hesitant but they understand that there’s never just a one right answer, and they have no shame in calling on others to improve on their thinking. Eventually, however, they will suggest an idea, an idea which may help you move in the right direction as a whole.
Smart people understand the value of listening and believe that is more valuable than talking and that neither beats thinking for yourself. They try to avoid repeating the obvious so they can spend their time and energy on what requires creativity and critical analysis, this in turn helps them grow as individuals and become better employees for the company. Eagerness only fuels error and careless mistakes and being reserved and inputting a structured thinking may not always help you stand out, but it will help you grow.