I recently wrote a note in CEA's work slack and thought it might be worth writing up for the Forum, too. All of these are my own perspectives and not those of my employer.
Here’s a shower thought about evaluating people/what happens during high-pressure interactions:
So, if Powerful Person and Being Evaluated Person are talking, and BEP is having trouble articulating their thoughts, I often see one of three things from PP:
A. SilenceB. Quickly moving on to another topic, mentally tagging BEP’s answer as insufficient/poorC. Putting words in BEP's mouth
I think C can be pretty hard to avoid, but avoiding it is vital.
What I try to do instead:
1b. (common tactic:) Be generally reassuring and soothing.
2b. (less common:) try to help them scaffold their arguments without actually providing the answer. It takes a lot of curiosity and patience. Poke, explore, ask. I don’t think I’m great at this, and I don’t have bullet-proof guidance for how to do it, but I try to:
I want more PPs who are in evaluation mode - formally or informally! - to remember how nerves can throw noise into the interaction. I want people to be doing way more of 2b.