Written by Victor Uyanwanne
Leaders ask questions. Followers too need to ask the right questions to move ahead.
Whoever you are, everyone should develop the habit of asking the right questions. Whatever position or occupation you may find yourself in, there are appropriate questions you should ask to get the clearest pictures of things or about people.
The essence of asking questions is to get answers. If you don’t have the answers you need, then you should ask the questions you have. There are some things you may never know or understand, except you ask the right questions.
Let me ask you: Are you ashamed or afraid to ask questions? You shouldn’t be!
A Chinese proverb I came across reads: He who asks questions remains a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask questions remains a fool forever.
There are many things you stand to gain if you will dare to ask the right questions.
Here are 16 powerful benefits of asking questions you should know:
- Assists to clarify your thoughts – Asking questions will help you to clarify your thoughts and those of others too. If someone says something to you and you don’t understand it, it is more honourable to ask questions for more clarifications than to make unsafe assumptions.
- Helps to elicit interest from your audience – Don’t you know a few people who won’t talk to you until you ask them questions? You can use questions to break the ice! On many occasions, I have used questions to start conversations with people I met for the first time. It works with me!
- Demonstrates your interest in other people/things – who/what you ask questions about reveals whom/what you are interested in. The questions you ask reveal what matters to you. The questions you don’t ask but you should ask also communicate some things about you.
- Clears or reduces your doubts – You can sometimes deal with your suspicions and doubts by asking the right questions. If you get the right answers to your questions, they will either dispel or validate your doubts.
- Improves your knowledge – Naturally, questions can be used in the quest for knowledge. What you don’t know that you should have known is probably what you haven’t asked about. You can ask Google if you are afraid to ask people.
- Enhances your understanding – If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you grasp it well enough. I used to have a very funny teacher that would tell the class: If you don’t ask any question, that means you understood everything I thought you today. Otherwise, ask now!
- Enhances your communication skills – communication is not complete until there is an understanding and feedback. Asking relevant questions will help you to achieve better understanding of any subject matter in discourse.
- Enhances trust – Asking the right questions and getting appropriate responses may promote good communication and friendly communication builds trust. You need trust to build any meaningful relationships.
- Helps you to solidify relationships – As trust level increases through the good answers you get to your questions, the cord of good relationship toughens.
- Tool for sifting information – Asking the right questions helps you separate relevant information from irrelevant ones. Not all information you get are useable. You can use questions to separate the grains from the chaff.
- Promotes better decision making – Good information is the heart of a good decision making process. The answers you get from asking questions will affect the quality of the decisions you make.
- Saves time and other resources. Have you ever tried to locate something or some place on your own for hours without finding it? And then you decided to ask someone about it and you got immediate help that showed you what you were looking for? Imagine the amount of time you would have saved if you had asked the question ab ni tio!
- Removes or reduces prejudices – If you ask the right questions and you get the right answers, you will soon get to discover that there is no need to hang on to some previously held misconceptions about some things and especially about some people.
- Promotes personal confidence – Believe it or not, your ability to ask the right questions is a kind of pointer to your level of confidence. Confident people ask questions. Don’t wait to boost your confidence before you begin to ask questions. Boost your level of confidence by asking questions.
- Clarifies direction – “He who asks questions never misses his way,” so says an African proverb. If you don’t know where you are going, ask questions to get the needed direction.
- Enhances your personal effectiveness – Knowing what to do and achieving results thereon could partly be a function of the questions you ask and the answers you get. What you don’t know, ask! Once you know, act!
Have you ever gained any benefits from asking questions? Please share your experience.
P.S. Adapted from a previous post on this blog: YOU NEED TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS, THIS IS WHY