It Never Hurts to Ask

….in fact asking helps us to become better communicators.

In order to communicate well, we all need to understand. But many of us are reticent to ask questions – especially at work – for fear we’ll be perceived as ignorant.

Au contraire. Asking questions doesn’t demonstrate weakness, it demonstrates strength. No matter what our position – whether CEO or part-time employee – asking questions indicates interest and a desire to learn and to understand. Equally important, it also helps us:
 – solve problems
 – reduce mistakes
 – stimulate creative thinking
 – connect with people.

Encourage sharing and understanding during discussions by using probing, open-ended “what,” “how” and “why” questions.
 – Why do you think that…?
 – Can you explain what you mean by that?
 – What would happen if…?
 – What do you think about….?
 – How did they respond to…?
 – Can you tell me more about….

Listen carefully to the responses, clarify if necessary and then reflect on what you’ve learned. Be open to new insights the answers may convey.

Ready to improve your communication skills? Just ask.

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