I’ve heard time and time again how the only stupid question is an unasked question. I have to say that I believe it to be true. So why are we afraid to ask questions?

We’re afraid to ask questions for several reasons, one of which is looking inadequate. If everyone else understands and I do not that must make me look stupid. I must really be dumb not to ‘get it’ when everyone else does. I remember a few years ago my daughter, Katrina, then a freshman in high school coming home flustered that she couldn’t do her homework because she didn’t understand how the math problems were solved.
“Didn’t the teacher explain it to you” I asked
“Yes, but I didn’t understand” she replied
“Why didn’t you ask her to explain it again?” I queried
“WHAT… and be the only one who didn’t get it? Mom do you want me to look stupid?”

After chuckling to myself I tried with all my mom skills to explain that asking a question doesn’t make you look stupid. I was unsuccessful, and she refused the rest of the year to ask questions in math so how she received that A is beyond me.

As a matter of fact, just this week I received an email stating that someone I was working with didn’t understand but “didn’t want to waste anyone’s time by asking questions.” Waste time? Isn’t it more wasteful to have misconceptions, misunderstanding and miscommunications? Isn’t it more time consuming to have to rehash all of those misses than to ask upfront for clarification?

I believe it is. I am an inquistive person by nature, I am a detailed person so I”m always asking, okay did you.. have you.. could we.. does this mean.. does that mean..

I guess the bottom line is don’t worry about looking stupid asking questions, ask! Ask! and ask again! Save yourself time, hassles and headaches by asking what you need to know.

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