Asking Good Questionsby Jake Smolarek
Questions and answers
What happens when you ask a question?
You get an answer.
What happens when you ask a good question? You might get an even better answer.
And if you ask a good question at the right time? You have the chance to get a profound answer.
So, if you ask a good question, at the right time, to the right person, the answer could be life-altering.
We ask questions all the time without even realising it. What time is it? Can you pass the milk, please? What's for dinner? These questions are unlikely to change your life. The serious questions, the ones which require thought and consideration, are the ones which might change everything. Asking the right questions is an essential part of progressing your professional and personal life and, for that reason, knowing which questions to ask, when and to whom is an important skill to learn.
Your future depends on the questions you ask
We start learning to ask questions at a young age. In school, students learn to ask questions to further their knowledge and understand basic subjects. New recruits on their first shift learn by asking others for help. Innovators ask their clients questions to understand their needs. Questions are crucial to growing your knowledge, and with more knowledge comes the chance to advance.
Questions don't just increase your knowledge. They can help solve problems. If you're not satisfied with your job, what do you do? Complaining might feel good in the short term, but it won't fix anything.
You ask for more responsibility. You ask if there's anything you can do to improve your performance. Or, you can change everything and ask for a new job somewhere else.
If you don't ask, you won't get it
No one's going to read your mind and assume what you need or want. You're going to miss every shot you never take. Asking is the first step and means you have a shot at making a change.
I know that asking can be scary, intimidating, and off-putting. But if you don't ask, you'll never get anything. So, even if you are terrible at it, ask. If you continue to ask, you'll improve your skill. Eventually, someone will say yes or tell you the thing you needed to know.
Even if you're at the top of the professional food chain, you still need to ask questions. Ask the people you work with for help. Ask your customer base to understand what they want. Ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to reach the success you're looking for.
There are endless reasons why we have to ask questions. To acquire knowledge, to guide a conversation, and even to identify and solve problems. The list goes on.
As we grow older, we can forget to continue asking questions. Not because we think we know everything, but because we forget that sometimes, we all need a little help. After all, growth is a continuous process.
To make progress, to reach success, and achieve your full potential, you have to ask.
You could be just one question away from changing your life.