June 3, 2016

How did it go? – When to Ask, How to Answer

How did it go? 
Whether in the break room (pantry),
or in the board room, the question,
"How did it go?" is common.


“How did what go?” you may ask! 

What does this question, “How did it go?” mean and how to answer this common question will be tackled here. In case you want more information, see this post from 2013

Meaning of “How did it go?”
In this question, “it” refers to some event or moment in time that was discussed earlier in the conversation.

Example 1 (Small Talk):
Marty: We went see fireworks on the 4th of July. We also went to a family reunion in Ohio. I was dreading coming back to work!

Wendy: I know.. it’s so hard to come back to work after a long weekend! Sounds like you had fun. How did it go?

In this case, “it” refers to the series of events that Marty participated in over his holiday that he alluded to.

Another way to say, “How did it go?”: In this case, some similar questions could replace How did it go? such as: “How was it?” (broad question), “What did you like the most?” (more specific question), “What was it like?” (broad question). If Wendy felt comfortable to share more about her personal life to Marty, she may say, "Ohio, did you say? I am actually from Ohio! Where in Ohio did you go?" 

Example 2 (Meeting & Business Discussions):
Cindy: We are about to take on a new client. The project will be similar to a project we did with ABC client earlier this year. 

Praveen: Oh, yes, you are referring to the e-commerce website we created for ABC. Is that right?

Dale: Yes, Praveen, that is the one Cindy is referring to. As we have our whole team on the call today, Cindy, you, Fazil, Trayvon and I, shall we discuss how it went?

In this case, “it” refers to the e-commerce project with client ABC. But, at this point, we don’t know what particular specific issues may be discussed in relation to ABC, so we have to build a conversation using a series of open and closed ended questions along with statements reflecting our experiences on that project.

Another way to say, how did it went: In this case, some similar questions could replace How did it go? such as: “…shall we review it?”, “…shall we talk more about our lessons from that project?”.

So, how do we answer these questions? Let’s go back to Marty and Wendy:

Example 1 (Small Talk):
Marty: We went see fireworks on the 4th of July. We also went to a family reunion in Ohio. I was dreading coming back to work!

Wendy: I know.. it’s so hard to come back to work after a long weekend! Sounds like you had fun. How did it go?

Marty: It was amazing. I got to see all my friends and family that I haven’t seen in over 10 years! I got to meet a lot of new family members as well.

Reflections on how to answer: Basically in this case, Marty could answer this question, “How did it go?” sharing any short story about his experience he wanted to. To keep the conversation flowing, and not be a stage hog, it’s best to talk for about 2 minutes or 3 minutes, at the most, so the other person can add in to the conversation.

How could you answer the question, “How did it go?” if you were Marty?

Example 2 (Meeting & Business Discussions):
Cindy: We are about to take on a new client. The project will be similar to a project we did with ABC client earlier this year. 

Praveen: Oh, yes, you are referring to the e-commerce website we created for ABC. Is that right?

Dale: Yes, Praveen, that is the one Cindy is referring to. As we have our whole team on the call today, Cindy, you, Fazil, Trayvon and I, shall we put our heads together and discuss how it went? 

(As this is a team meeting, anyone can weigh in. Remembering it is a conference call, it may be important to say your name before speaking, so we know who is speaking.) 

Fazil: “Fazil here… sounds good. I’d like to know more about the requirements of this new project and how it compares…”

OR

Trayvon: “Trayvon here…. We have about 10 minutes left in today’s call. I think it’s great to get this discussion started as there are definitely a few areas we can look at when applying lessons from the previous client project to this one.” 

OR
Cindy, "Cindy here.. While that project was really a walk in the park, I do think that there are a lot of commonalities between that project and our new one. Maybe if we take a little time to think it through now, we can save time and get this project done in record time!" 

If you were Cindy, Praveen, Fazil or Trayvon, how would you respond?

In this post, we have discussed some common uses, meanings and ways of answering this common question, “How did it go?” and related versions. Feel free to share your comments or feedback in the comments section below.

Jennifer Kumar, an American expat living in Kochi, India has helped over 1,600 global team professionals to communicate more effectively across team borders. To get your offshore teams signed up for one of our programs contact us to get started today.

Related Posts:
Idioms used in the office
Importance of questions in American business discussions
Why Indian team members may not speak up on the phone

No comments:

Post a Comment