Asking questions is essential for growth on a personal and professional level. If you are in business asking the right questions will help you unlock the secret of transferring information into results. Results that will empower and inform your business decisions.
Asking and answering questions provides clarity. The kind of clarity that allows you to make informed decisions based on solid information. Yet many adults are often reluctant to ask questions for fear they will be seen as lacking. This is definitely not a good thing!
Looking from a kids perspective
Kids ask questions. All the time.Constantly. If you're a parent you'll be very familiar with every question you answer being followed by another – often just the one word “Why?” You know how it goes, you give the answer and back they come with another...Why? Kids are persistent and relentless. They keep asking questions until they are satisfied.
Many a parent has been known to say "Because I said so" in sheer frustration. Or make up some nonsensical answer - remember the ad about the Great Wall of China being built to keep the rabbits out?
Children have an inbuilt thirst for knowledge and soak it all up like a sponge. Happily asking away without any sense of self-consciousness. It would never occur to them not to ask!
It's only when growing older - often in teenage years - that a sense of "feeling silly", "people will think I'm stupid" mentality starts to creep in.
When the Questions Stop
This is not a good thing! Some might go off and Google answers (not guaranteed to be correct!) while others may just never bother finding out. Similarly, at college, university or even doing a business course update many participants are reluctant to draw attention to themselves by asking questions.
The fear of being judged or seen as lacking is very real. Fear of being seen as wanting to know too much is a very real anxiety. If this is resonating, rest assured you are not alone. The way to overcome this is to remember...
Questions = Growth
Here's the thing, if you don't know something then you need to ASK! Asking the right questions will help you grow on both a personal and professional level. If you are a business owner, ongoing growth is vital.
Sure, the answers you get may lead to the need for further clarity, hence more questions will follow but you know what? Never be afraid to ask.
Asking for information to allow you to make informed decisions is all about taking responsibility for your own growth.
Sometimes, you also need to ask questions to satisfy your legal responsibilities. This is especially important for company directors and office holders.
During my career in the Not for Profit sector, it has shocked me, on more than one occasion, to find that many board members simply went along with whatever the CEO of the day had said.
It became, and continues to be, my number one priority to make sure members of every board that I work with or consult to understand that they bear the ultimate legal responsibility for any decisions made.
Making the ask
Regardless of what business you're in - make sure you are clear on what is happening and why it is happening.
If you're not sure or are uncomfortable about something - ask questions to help you feel comfortable. You need to be secure in the knowledge that you are making the right decision based on the information available. Connect with that inner curious child, and ask...
Why? Why? Why?
There's no such thing as a stupid question. Remember that everyone is on a different journey. Do not compare yourself to others, instead focus on what you are doing. Test the waters, track interests, make changes and adjust your business based on the answers to the questions you are asking or being asked.
Until next issue…
Michelle Hanton firstname.lastname@example.org 898082
Michelle Hanton OAM is a multi-award winning international business strategist, the founder of Dragons Abreast Australia and former CEO of Lifeline Top End. Her business, Dragon Sisters, specialises in actionable, momentum building support to help move businesses to the next level.