The Art of the Question

So, I’d like to toot my own horn here ?… I’ve noticed lately that when I interact with anyone who I might be requesting information from, I’ve been repeatedly thanked for my “thoughtful questions.” Now, this might not seem earth-shattering or anything, so let me back up a minute.

On a good day, you can find me getting down with some questions, like a participant on Whose Line, playing the game Questions with my pal Wayne Brady. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a question asker. I was always a very curious child, and as I got older, those questions spilled over into school. Yes, I was that kid, always raising my hand and asking the teacher follow-up questions. I was always told, “no question is a dumb question” and I really took that to heart, much to the chagrin of my fellow classmates who just wanted me to shut up ?.

Fast forward to my 20’s, my roommates dubbed me “20 questions.” It was all in good fun of course, but heck, I just liked to know things, ok? In fact, one of my biggest pet peeves were people who did NOT ask questions. It would drive me bonkers! ?I’d meet up with a friend, and they’d tell me some story and I’d say, “Well, where did they need to go?” And they would answer, “I don’t know.” And I’d say, “…and you didn’t ask?! “How do you not ask?!” It never occurred to me that, maybe they just didn’t care? But, did that mean I cared too much? Should I stop?

As my professional life moseyed on, one work experience really opened my eyes. At a job I had a couple of years back, I was told to ask as many questions as I could think of. I warned them that they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into with statements like that. We all laughed, but needless to say, I surpassed their every questionable, questioning question. Can you say that three times fast?

It was there that I realized that perhaps sometimes I gasp…just asked questions to ask questions?! I knew right then that I needed to be more thoughtful with the way I went about asking about things. I began to take stock of the type of questions I asked and more importantly WHEN I asked them, and then I really honed in on what I like to call, The Art of the Question. Patent pending. Not really, though. In the end, it brought me so much peace in NOT asking questions, but just listening and digesting first and foremost. Going through THAT process, really helped me in asking the RIGHT kind of questions when I did ask.

Today, I am proud to say, I listen, I research AND THEN I ask. Now if someone could PLEASE teach my 4-year-old daughter this concept, because I am afraid she has inherited my, ahem, thirst for knowledge 👧🏻.

 

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