When you sit among a group, or in a discussion wherein everyone is giving an opinion, instead of being a silent spectator you would like to be part of the discussion. But asking the right questions and taking the discussion forward is an art. All of us question–but do all of us ask the right question?
No question is a wrong one! There are no rights or wrongs. What matters is the way you put the question in front of the other. The reason being, the answer depends upon your question and unless you receive the information that you seek, your decision, opinion, comments, solutions will not be in the right direction.
Direct & Precise
Many a times, you can use a few language details to seek the right information. For example, when asking someone who is teaching you to clarify a point, it should be a direct and precise question. The very reason that you are a student and someone else is teaching you is because the other has expertise in the area and will give you the right information. Or at least point you in the right direction.
While is a discussion with peer or similar group of intellects, it is important that you understand the information being provided to you in a clear manner and you are on the same page as the others. Thus, you may want to ask a clarifying question such as “If you can elaborate?” or “I think, I didn’t get your point?” This does not put others on a defence and they shall trust you more with information and will provide you with more details.
Keep your goal in mind
Before asking a question, remember the goal. It may be to clarify, to seek more information, to know the person better, to show that you know so that other doesn’t feel less of you etc. The language of the question and the tone will depend lot on the goal of the question.
Always start on a positive note
Always start a discussion or a question on a positive note. This would put the other at ease and will also make them more friendly towards you. A person who values you as a positive thinker and reliable, will behave more positively with you instead of when you are rude or do not value others’ opinions.
Respect other’s questions and learn to receive questions as well
Lastly, but most importantly, respect other’s questions. Questions can bring out the best in you as well as test your knowledge and skills regarding a particular topic or in an area of expertise. They also help you churn your knowledge and reach solutions which are more creative and effective. Just the way you would like others to react to your questions, you should reach to others when they ask for clarifications and seek information.
No Question is a Dumb or a Wrong Question! Seeking answers to them through the right information is of utmost importance! The art of asking questions is as important as the answers itself.