Skip to main content

Why we stopped asking questions?

Why we stopped asking questions?

·     We haven’t done our homework
There are times when we could not prepare ourselves for the upcoming meeting, conference, lecture or interview. Though we won’t be delivering the presentation or driving the conversation but yet we are not comfortable enough to ask the questions. Obviously, if you don’t know the basics then how can you think of meaningful questions spontaneously. So, we act cool, show that we know almost everything, don’t ask questions. In the end, we shout the loudest thanks to the presenter

·     Let someone else asks the question
While sitting in the conference rooms or in seminars, I dread sitting in the last seats. Not that I am studious or want to get noticed but because I don’t want to shout out to ask the questions. In that cases, I would like someone else to ask the question. When was the last time you asked a question from your group? When was it that you asked the question despite being tough (in terms of logistics or seating or subject knowledge) for you? 


·     Our question is stupid
How many times it happened that you start raising your hand to ask a question, and immediately stopped after seeing people nearby you? What if it’s a dummy question? What if someone already asked this question couple of meetings ago? Or maybe “My manager is sitting here. What if he judges me the basis on this question?”


·     Who knows what kind of answer we get?
Sometimes we are afraid of the environment and the presenter, especially either he is subject matter expertise or a loud-mouthed or both

A few years back, during one of our group meetings, I asked a senior manager about rumours of dissolving our team. His response was – “Mandhir! You should be standing near the water cooler to get answers to such questions” It took me 3 months to ask any question to him


·      Answer will confirm our fears
 I used to schedule my one-on-ones with my manager on Friday. Why so? I was afraid of asking certain questions to him. I was afraid not because my boss was scary, but it was the answers which were going to be scary. I knew my performance was not good. Our team was going through restructuring. There were client expectations. I also knew the answers to the questions – “How much will be my appraisal?” “How can I grow within the team?” “What skills I should possess?”

I knew answers to all of them, that’s why I was afraid to ask



·     What to do even if we get the answer
Suppose, we got the confidence to ask the question, knowledge to make this question meaningful, an environment which encourages asking the question, then also we don’t ask a question sometimes. Why so? Because the answer would not make sense to us.



·     Not everyone shares
A classic case of what we see our politicians do to us. At the time of elections, there will be a lot of promises, hope, schemes and assurance of much better future. On asking questions regarding delivery of those promises they would prefer to keep quiet or worse diverge. This non-committed and passive attitude makes us asking fewer questions. And this is not the case with politicians but within organizations as well. In the name of confidentiality, “results will speak soon” people prefer not to share any information which leads to the death of further probing



·     We don’t have an alternate source of information
I see this a lot while making investment decisions, forming political opinions. We are happy to stick to one source of information, especially the one which confirms our biases, our likings, our opinions. Thus, in absence of an alternate source of information we don’t question the opinions or authenticity of our preferred source and thus we stopped asking the questions



Now we know the reasons behind our hesitation of not asking the questions.

Popular posts from this blog

The power of visual storytelling

I recently came across this wonderful commercial of Canadian Tire "Wheels"






This ad was a slam dunk for a very basic reason - Within 60 seconds, message was delivered and hearts were touched, thanks to powerful storytelling

The ad starts with a kid in wheelchair, looking wistfully at the group of boys playing basketball.

What's Next?

Next day the same group of boys are playing basketball, but in a special way 😊

Pause reading. Go watch this Ad - Canadian Tire "Wheels"

Lessons - 

Everybody's Inclusion will strengthen the nation
Hardships can be ignored or can be celebrated together

All it took is just a minute to deliver this strong message

Next time whenever we will see Wheelchair or Basketball, we surely going to remember this Ad

This is the power of Visual Storytelling

Until next time 😃



Left brain - Right brain - No brain

In one of my previous post I mentioned how you can alter your perspective by teaching your left side of the brain - responsible for logic, to perceive things differently

Continuing on same thoughts - Left side vs. Right side of the brain, today I'll extend it to Verbal vs. Visual side

Left side, which is responsible for the analytical, logical approach, looks for verbal clues.

Tip - If you want to be a good speaker, keep nourishing your left side of the brain by practicing and analyzing good speeches

So every time you hear a speech or presentation, left side of the brain start working by synthesizing that information. Breaking sentences into chunks, looks into existing vocabulary to understand the concept

While all this time what is our right side of the brain doing?
Nothing?

Well it is trying to form some visual picture of the same presentation

Remember those good old days when our parents tell the story?

Once upon a time, there was a king named Paul....

Left side of the brain wi…

All We Got To Do Is Tell The Story Right

Stories have been an integral part of human society. Our day starts with a story - an excuse given to a boss for getting late and ends with subconscious mind cooking stories in our sleep.

TV commercial selling a story of person facing a toothache problem and how he is relieved with their product

A fruit vendor telling a story of why his fruits are the best and cheapest

But its not always about the sales

Stories can be memories, they are influenced by individual experiences. 
A friend telling us a story in reply to our Wassup

The art of story telling is the art of living too. The toughest lives will have the toughest stories. They yield the best memories and help us articulate our experiences in to stories. 

We all cook stories 😉 
We all know the art of story telling. Some of our stories are interesting and some are boring. Some are a plain lie (we give to our bosses). 

Stories have a variety of flavors to them. Flavors of joy, sorrow, excitement and many mixed emotions. 

And the one who empath…

How to Sell Anything?

Everyone is a salesman. We have been selling physical products or ideas or emotions since the inception of the time. Still most of us, including me, are pathetic in the art of selling. 
This post is about how to master this art - in three simple steps
Ethos - Pathos - Lagos (Formula given by Aristotle)
Ethos – Establish yourself by showcasing a prolific profile of yours - maybe your past accolades, superior track record, high end connections, exceptional knowledge, blabbering data etc. 
Pathos - Next step is to invoke emotions. We humans have exceptional capability of rationale but emotions cloud this capability. So try to invoke emotions of happiness, loss, urgency, ego etc.

All you need is to confuse your brain

We can alter our perspective towards anything in life by simply understanding the functioning of a brain which is -
      Left hemisphere of brain is for reasoning while right hemisphere is about intuitiveness. Interestingly, they do not interact with each other which means whatever right side will see, the left side won't be able to recall it and vice-versa
The Experiment A study was done where the split brain environment, i.e. keeping only one hemisphere active, is provided to subject Then an image of hen is shown to his left brain while snow is shown to his rightOnce the subject is back to normal environment, some random images were given to identify the relative images to previous two imagesOut of them, he chose chicken for hen and shovel for snowWhen asked for the reason of this selection he made apt sense corresponding to hen but does not know why shovel for snow – end up saying need shovel to put hen back to fence

Inference
Left part of brain is good in giving reasoning while ri…

Art of storytelling

Once upon a time really smart people were completely convinced the world was flat. Then they learned that it wasn’t. But they were still pretty sure the sun revolved around the Earth ... until that theory went bust, too.
For an even longer period of time, smart people have believed story is just a form of entertainment
Guess What? - Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution
Stories have been an integral part of human society. Our day starts with a story - an excuse given to a boss for getting late and ends with subconscious mind cooking stories in our sleep.
TV commercial selling a story of person facing a toothache problem and how he is relieved with their product
A fruit vendor telling a story of why his fruits are the best and cheapest
But it’s not always about the sales
Stories can be memories, they are influenced by individual experiences. A friend telling us a story in reply to our Wassup?

I’ll share the framework that helped me (and hopefully helps you too!) in tell…

I want to practice Mindfulness, not sure how to do it

Image Source

An old man was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he told the young boy, “a fight between two wolves. One is evil, full of anger, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity and false pride. The other is good, full of joy, peace, love, humility, kindness and faith.”
“This same fight is going on inside of every other person on the face of this earth.”
The grandson ponders this for a moment and then asks, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?”
The old man smiled and simply said, “The one you feed.”
Whenever I fell into a whirl of bad feelings I remember this story, check my emotions and start feeding the good wolf. Start feeding mindfully
But what is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is... well... sorry I couldn’t come up with complex-looking definition, though I tried a lot on Google
So, my definition of mindfulness is doing an activity with your full mind to it.
Not very intelligent but it works amazingly. Think of it as doing something consciously.
You are eating while watc…

How To Conquer Insomnia?

It’s 1:30am in Delhi. I’m normally asleep by 11 in the night. However, since I returned from Canada, I’m up until — well — now It’s been a week that I am not able to sleep at nights. Guess the fancy word “Jetlag” is to be blamed for my sleepless nights. What if there was no Jetlag or business anxiety or rare days of gastroenteritis? But the inability to sleep was a daily battle to fight? –