Why there really is no such thing as a stupid question

How many times have you been in a meeting or at a conference or workshop and come away not really understanding all that was said but you were too afraid to ask what might have been considered a stupid question?  Did you scuttle off home and quickly do a search online to find out what was being talked about?  Do you wish you had known this in the room as it would have helped you understand the rest of what was being said?

Many people try to save face by pretending to know what others are talking about but this leaves them with a fear of inadequacy.  They become afraid to fully engage in the conversation as they are not wholly sure what is being discussed.

Don’t be afraid to ask a stupid question

I was once the only female manager in a room of 17 men.  The subject that was being discussed had a lot of jargon that I was not familiar with.  This was a common occurrence and I would always leave the meetings feeling I was stupid and then be nervous of going to the next one for fear of being asked something I didn’t know.

One day, I decided to brave it and ask what the Chairman was talking about.  I was shaking and terrified everyone would think I was the ‘dumb blonde’ asking a stupid question.  What actually happened was that after I asked the question, a number of other managers thanked me for asking as they had no idea what was being said either.  The chairman praised me for making the effort to fully understand the subject matter and I instantly went up in everyone’s estimation.

So in future, ask stupid questions.  Ask the questions that everyone else is afraid to ask.  You will become more confident in yourself and be admired and recognized as a confident person.

And if you have what you consider a stupid question to ask me, post it in the comments box below.

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