As a coach, I work with my clients to help them navigate challenging conversations. One of the biggest obstacles to asking questions comes in the form of assumptions. You bring your internal narrative about who you are and what the other person thinks about you, how they will react, and how you will be perceived to every interaction you have, often before any dialogue occurs. Your made up story keeps you stuck.
One of the biggest reasons that people don’t ask questions, yourself included, is due to fear. Have you ever been afraid of:
- Looking stupid?
- Being wrong?
- Seeming incompetent?
- Feeling like you should already know the answers?
If you answered yes, get ready for some insight. Your ego is holding you back! Your ego is keeping you small and safe so that you can live in your world of assumptions without getting hurt. As my good friend, Sam says, “Your ego is not your amigo.”
Asking questions can be powerful. Inquiring shows that you are thoughtful, thorough, inquisitive, and caring. People who ask questions get answers and can make better-informed decisions than their non-asking counterparts. They are viewed as team players, good communicators, and efficient. People who ask questions make fewer mistakes. They are not running defense because they are prepared with the information they need to move forward.
Do you have a question? #AskGretchen. I will answer your questions on life, business, relationships, love, money, sex, parenting, friendships, and more. Send in your questions to be included in the June 21st column. All topics are welcome. This is a free service and anonymous.
Take a look at my interview with FastCompany for answers to your questions on best email practices.