Asking questions

Man should rather spend an hour with a wise man than ten years in books.

A Chinese proverb

As an unexperienced adult, I was not afraid to ask questions as I did not have much to loose. It was easy to ask but it did not always mean that young people have the right questions just yet. When one grows old, one may have the right questions but not always the will to risk anything to obtain an answer.

Everyone should believe in its own right to become a better person by learning something new everyday – the easy way to do this is actually to ask questions.

By asking questions, I realised that the majority of my surroundings were happy to share answers, experiences, information and even personal wisdom. This can create a virtuous circle that give again more will to ask, but also accept when there is not a positive feedback. I am grateful everyday for the chance I have to be so well supported and equipped with others knowledge to move forwards.

Spanish are pragmatic, they have a proverb which reads “el no ja lo tienes “: the “no” you already have. I have to admit that it came in my life as a revelation of something I know deep in my heart but had not yet put words on.

Go ahead – ask – nothing is to be lost anyway.

If you need one extra reason for asking questions, remember that it keeps the conversation going between you and your network.

« What to ask? » one might say.

In a professional context, there are 4 simple starting points:

  • Example: when explained a theory, one can believe it is clear, but examples are never useless to picture clearly.
  • Context: when describe a situation or told an experience, the teller do not always provide context and usually have one angle of view. Do not hesitate to question context to understand better where the story comes from.
  • Outcome: what happen after the end of the story ? What were the consequences or learning to take out of the story.
  • Resource: if the topics interests you, do not hesitate to request extra material and ressources to get a deeper understanding of it.

In a personal context or during networking events or ice-breaking exercise, you may need to include other types of questions.

Check the following lists as fun to read as it can be awkward to use, but it gives you some good examples.

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