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There are NO stupid questions

6 great reasons why everyone should be asking questions!

Trainers and corporate leaders in Singapore should be able to identify with this: ask a question to a group of people and nine out of ten times, you get complete silence. I wonder if this is the work of the fixed mindset - where people don't want to come off looking like a fool - or a cultural thing where people defer to the most senior person in the room to speak, I do not know. But one thing is for sure, as the person asking the question, it can get frustrating at times.

The point is, there are no stupid questions. Period! Questions have a way of getting inside a person and make him think. Questions also reveals how much the asker is reflecting on the subject matter.

Some people think that questioning may be disrespectful, or even provocative; and in the Asian culture, we don't like to come across as being confrontational. One would prefer to suffer in silence, than to put the other person in "discomfort". But that cannot be furthest from the truth! Here are 6 great reasons why everyone should be asking questions:

1. It shows you are present

The worst thing a leader or a trainer wants is a bunch of people sleeping with their eyes wide open. One question from you will change that notion in a jiffy!

2. It shows you are thinking

There must be some level of thinking or introspection before a question can be formulated. Asking the question is an outward sign of that internal mechanism.

3. It shows you care

When we seek clarifying questions, especially when it comes to processes and plans, it shows that you care enough to want to make it work. This also shows respect for the other person's time, effort and thoughts.

4. It shows that there might be possibe miscommunication

It is only through questions that we can uncover how the other party is taking in the message and if there was possible miscommunication. And if so, it can easily be clarified then and there, without having to go through so much corrective action later.

5. It shows that we might be wrong

If there are persistent questions around a certain point, it could also indicate that we are wrong, and the questions point out our flaws. We can then enlist the collective intellect to right the wrong, instead of allowing it to fester.

6. Someone else may be having that very question

Finally, if you have that question, chances are, someone else in the group would also have it. If it is not asked, no one would be any the wiser to its response. Many people in Singapore prefer to let the question go unmentioned, thinking that we could ask that of friends after the session. Unfortunately, it usually turns out that no one has the answer, and the question will be relegated to one corner, causing a misunderstanding.

So remember, there are NO stupid questions. Ask questions to get perfect clarity!


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