People are really good at talking. They're very bad at listening.

Even more, people are often really bad at asking questions. Firstly, they don't ask enough questions. Secondly, they haven't learned the art of asking powerful questions-- the one's that lead to epiphany, breakthrough, and re-direction.

According to Dave Will, the founder of PropFuel, which is an employee and customer feedback platform, people often pretend to know what they're talking about. They want to look smart and confident. 

Which is actually the worst thing they could do. Research has found that people who don't ask questions in attempts of looking smart are actually viewed as less smart to other people. Put more directly, when you ask thoughtful and genuinely interested questions, people don't think you're dumb. Rather, they think you're really smart!

They think you're smart for a few reasons:

  • People who ask questions are generally more humble
  • When you ask people questions, you demonstrate that you respect them
  • When people feel respected and heard, they like you more
  • The connection between the two of you becomes better
  • You'll be able to engage in more meaningful dialogue
  • You'll be able to get clarity, rather than pretending to have clarity and having a pseudo-relationship

If You Don't Ask Questions, You're Not Curious

According to Will, the most engaged companies and employees promote lots of questions. In fact, questions are a lot better to have than answers. 

Questions show leaders that an employee is truly curious about what they're doing. 

Will also recommends that at the end of the day, all employees and leaders should ask themselves: What did I learn today? 

If you didn't learn, it's because you weren't asking questions. Plain and simple.

The 3 Biggest Consequences To Not Asking Questions

According to Will, there are 3 huge consequences to not asking questions relentlessly:

  • You're relying on past experience, which according to Paul Arden, is "arrogant." 
  • You're likely stagnating and not growing.
  • You're probably not going the right direction, because like airplanes, going in the right direction requires constant course corrections. 

Conclusion

When you start asking targeted questions, you get much closer to the vivid vision. You get clarity.

People who only talk about themselves aren't respected long-term. 

Make other people feel valuable. Ask them questions. Not only will you learn a lot more, but again, you'll develop much deeper and more authentic relationships. 

Finally, Will explains that the more risky the questions, the more valuable. The greater the opportunity for return. For example, if you're doing a podcast and you ask generic questions, you'll get generic answers. If you ask risky questions, it might come back to haunt you. But if you do it in the right way, you can get the more rich and beautiful information and dialogue and insight. 

Some Questions For You To Consider

Are you asking enough questions?

Are you getting clarity?

Are you going in the right direction?

Are your relationships deep and authentic?

Are you getting rich and beautiful dialogue and insight? Or are all of your conversations still about you?

Published on: May 15, 2018