Monday, December 20, 2021

Questions to ask BEFORE asking a question

I've been thinking a lot about communication (I know--fun, right?!) and especially about questions. This is because asking and responding to questions (not just answering them) is a large part of communication.

So, 12(+) questions to ask yourself before asking a question:

  1. Can I work out the answer myself?
  2. Can I find the answer myself?
  3. Will the person I'm asking know the answer?
  4. Can they know the answer?
  5. Will they be able to give me an answer if they know?
  6. What will it cost them to answer?
  7. Will this impact my ability or opportunity to ask other questions?
  8. Will others want to know the answer?
  9. Have others asked the question before? and what, if any, answer did they get?
  10. Why isn't the answer easily/already available?
  11. Is this the best time to ask? And if not, when is?
  12. Have I been paying attention to what has been said already?
  13. Other?

I know the above is a generalization, and it won't apply to all questions but is a helpful summary of the things to consider.

Not all are always relevant, appropriate, or useful, but all are worth considering before asking (or even answering) a question.


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