Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ask Those Stupid Questions

Whether it was from school or from parents, we have heard the following phrase before.

“There is no such thing as a stupid question.” Right?

Unfortunately, most people don’t take heed to that phrase. Often times, people do not ask questions because they truly feel it may sound silly or pointless. Which isn't an issue most of the time as one can live perfectly fine without asking questions they assume will sound stupid. However, when it comes to your professional career, not asking those questions can adversely affect your learning curves, advancement, and professional growth throughout your career.

Faster Learning Curves

When learning a new product, a newly implemented system, or new software, ask all the questions you can. This is especially important when starting a new position within an organization. You will get a better understanding on how things work, what to do, and how to do it a lot quicker. You will still learn without asking, just not as quickly. So ask questions to learn faster!

Professional Growth

Truth is, people tend to stay very focused in their positions, doing the same thing for years at a time. While this ok, you will not grow as much professionally.  Asking “stupid” questions can change this. Next time you’re in the office, ask your manager or director to tell you about something you don’t know. You will get an understanding of something new that you will most likely remember for the rest of your professional career. Regardless of if you were doing the same thing for years at a time, you will have grown within that time if you asked the questions.


It doesn't matter if you’re starting your first job out of college or further in your career with several more years of experience, asking questions will allow managers, directors, vice president, etc. to see how interested you are about the organization. True leaders within that organization will see your genuine interest and eagerness to grow and learn. They will not only answer your questions, but support you in your advancement.  If you don’t ask those “stupid” questions, it may be harder for them to realize how interested and invested you truly are.

Long story short, if you have a genuine professional question, it's answer will help you gain new insight. Essentially, you will get educated on something you did not know about.  You will quickly gain knowledge. You will get noticed. You will advance your career.  The more questions, the better.  So ask those “stupid” questions!

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Photo Credit: Orin Zebest, Flickr