There’s No Such Thing as a Dumb Question!
When I present at conferences or in-house professional development events, I regularly get a sheepish hand raised and the phrase “this is probably a dumb question…” spoken as the precursor to a question.
When I hear this, two things immediately come to mind.
The first is recognition of the huge leap of courage the individual has taken to ask the question, and the second is, the trust they feel in the moment that I may be able to answer it.
When I respond, I always reassure the person that it is not a dumb question, and that it is likely others in the room also have that same question, then I thank them for asking it.
Within organisations, I often see staff who assume is what is common knowledge to them, should be common knowledge to others. Often this isn’t the case because their context or understanding is not the same as ours.
To me what others perceive as a “dumb question” is often a simple request for clarification, review or elaboration. If these questions are dismissed or the answer is assumed, those asking the questions are unlikely to move on mentally or engage in the conversation or learning.
Next time someone asks you what you think is a dumb question, take to time to consider the real reason they are asking it.
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