Why Ask a Question

by Nian Li

Posted on November 4, 2018

Ask or not ask, that is a question. Asking questions can sometimes make a huge difference. So when should you ask questions, and what kind of questions should you ask?

In career, especially during hiring interviews, you should ask as many questions as possible. For example, your monthly salary (but do not ask it at the first place neither), detailed job descriptions and interviewers’ opinions about this company’s culture. Reasons are simple: if you don not negotiate your salary well in advance, the company can cheat you and offer you a bargain price. If you do not ask your specific job, you may end up by doing things you dislike. In addition, if interviewers themselves cannot say anything when asking their understanding about this company or they simply do not enjoy the culture, you should suspect this company as a working machine without caring and training its employees. You are joining a company you love and to create something, not to suffer and waste your time there.

In addition, you should always ask if you are confused about your supervisor and colleagues’ instructions and questions. It is a common mentality that people think themselves dumb if keep asking, but this behavior will usually turn into an awful ending. Hence, whether asking to make things clear or messing things up by misunderstanding is your own choice.

However, not all questions should be asked in your career. There are indeed some occasions you need to keep your questions. First and foremost, if you specifically know your colleagues have no idea or resource to your question, keep asking them will help you nothing but to embarrass them. In addition, never ask any questions without thinking them over in mind, which will only leave an irresponsible impression to others. Last but not least, such is a human nature, do not ask questions that are not suitable under present circumstances. For example, by asking what drama your colleagues watched yesterday while everyone is seriously talking solutions to a problem will make you odd.

Apart from career, asking questions to make things clear is also a must to maintain good relationships with your friends and family. In book “mindset”, written by Professor Carol Dweck at Stanford University, it clarifies how important it is to ask questions if you are confused in your relationship. For example, in the book it says Prof Dweck was once shocked when her husband asked her to leave some space to him. She could not believe her beloved man said it to her and started to think what she had done recently. After some while, she decided to ask her husband and he answered: well, I meant just move a little bit as you take too much space of the couch. Therefore, sometimes a simple question can solve a potential bomb in the future.

I was once trapped in a mentality that I believe most of young people experienced as well. When you like someone or in a relationship with someone, you might always have a bunch of unnecessary questions that keep torturing you:

In fact, all these struggles can just be solved by asking them questions:

Question is not a problem, but it can indeed solve a problem in many cases. Asking questions wisely and straightforwardly with consideration and honest can always help you win trust and respect from others.