Whatever you do, think first

“Well it seemed important to you” was perhaps not the best answer I could give when, after I’d proposes marriage, my soon-to-be-wife asked what had changed after fourteen years of just stepping out.

In the interim I’ve had plenty more opportunities to put my foot in it and these days I’m more inclined to request time to think of a suitable response.

In the fast moving world of marketing, however, the pressure is on to have all of the answers, all of the time. It’s during job interviews, pitches and brain-storming sessions where the answers are needed quickly and full-formed. It’s during these situations when having them can often be most dangerous because when answers struggle to breathe, opinions can jump in and cause the damage.

All too often you and I have offered an opinion out of simple panic. The need to appear knowledgeable on all things, to have covered all bases on your chosen subject, is addictive.

Yet to do so undermines the process of discussion. It doesn’t allow for other viewpoints and has a tendency to work in absolutes – a dangerous thing in a profession that is (rightly so) fluid in its approaches.

So take your time. Think about it. If you don’t have the answer then that’s ok. Somebody has raised an important point and a little research won’t hurt. We aren’t operating on someone here so having the answer isn’t critical. Venture an opinion, by all means, but make it clear that’s what you are doing and reserve the right to change your mind after due consideration.

It’s worth thinking about it, first.