Think on Your Feet!

Most people associate quick thinking with having a higher IQ. However, most of the time this isn’t the case. The secret to be able to think quickly on your feet is to be prepared: learn some new skills and tactics to prepare for situations that may put you under pressure.

Thinking quickly on your feet within the workplace can enhance skills to success, such as achieving the ability to stay focused on task deadlines, problem solving, goal setting and content planning. Confidence is key when learning how to think quickly and effectively. Here are five top tips to avoid embarrassment when presented with that tricky question your manger may propose:

Make Sure to Relax

It’s understandable that this is often the opposite feeling when you are put under pressure. However, for your brain to think, it’s vital to relax and remain calm. Make sure to take deep breaths to process the question or request being proposed and how you are going to structure a fast response.

Take a Step Back and Listen

Listening is the most critical component when thinking on your feet in the workplace. Listen to make sure you fully understand the question or request you are being faced with. Make sure to retain full eye contact with the questioner and interpret what is being suggested by the question or request.

Repeat the question

Always ask for the question to be repeated if at first, you’re feeling slightly flustered or you just don’t understand what’s initially being proposed. Repeating the question will prolong your thinking time and will give you the chance to compose your thoughts, relax and be able to construct a response that emits confidence.

Stick to one point

When put under pressure in a meeting to think quickly there is a high risk that you’ll respond to the question with either too much information or too little. Make sure to give a concise answer that provides just enough supporting information instead of delivering a speech which will not just lose your questioners’ attention but also your colleagues. Picking one main point will help you stay focused and will allow you to answer accurately.

Summarise and stop

Delivering a quick summary statement after answering your response will allow people to absorb the information just presented. Make sure to use trigger words such as “in conclusion” or “finally” so that your questioner or colleagues are aware that you have made your point and are ready for any response they may wish to reply with.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to discuss any of the details you have read in this blog; including our upcoming ‘Quick Thinking’ training course, please email us at or call us on 0800 542 9440.

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Can’t Make the Date?

We can run this course for you In-House, at your organisation or a venue of your choice, on a date to suit you. Bringing your team together for a group training event is a great team building exercise, and we work closely with you to develop a bespoke training agenda that is completely tailored to your organisation’s requirements.

Contact our In-House training team on or call 0800 542 9414 to find out more.