Today’s tip is a friendly reminder to raise your hand and ask the dumb questions.
Too often, we don’t ask a question because we’re afraid of looking dumb. But the truth is, if you’re confused about something, chances are someone else is too. So don’t be afraid to ask for more information.
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Ask The ‘Dumb Questions’
If you’re in a meeting, for example, or on a conference call, I guarantee someone else will be relieved you did it, because they were wondering the same thing. Or, they were wondering something else, but your raising your hand will inspire them to raise theirs. After all, clarity is EVERYONE’s friend. Don’t be afraid to seek it.
Chances are, your question isn’t dumb at all —that’s just your ego, whose job it is to keep you safe, not wanting you to do anything that has even a remote chance of making you look stupid. Your question could actually be a GREAT question—but the world will never know if you don’t ask it. It’s not risky to ask a dumb question; it’s risky not to ask it.
At work and in life we make assumptions all the time, some of them we know about and some of them we don’t. Quote unquote dumb questions help bring assumptions to light.
The person you’re asking will benefit too
Because it’s always clarifying to try and explain something more simply. And remember, clarity if everyone’s friend!
(The one exception to today’s tip is asking a question because you were late or simply weren’t paying attention—in that case, asking someone else who was there to catch you up afterward. It’s not that this type of question is dumb, per se, it’s just that it’s really a request for someone to repeat themselves, and not necessarily a clarifying question.)
Got a question for me?
Maybe some quandary in your life where you’re wondering what would be the “better person” way to handle it? I love answer reader questions–email me by going to beabetterpersonpodcast.com and clicking on the Contact Kate button. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.