I was working with a client recently who had moved to a new organisation and wanted support with their transition. Like many people, the thought of operating in the new environment was challenging. New things to think about, new people to interact with and different expectations.
One of the specific (and not uncommon challenges) was thinking that asking questions would show they were not quite up to the job and in some way show a weakness. Now the thing here was that rationally the person knew this wasn’t the case. Therefore the person wanted a more effective way to handle the in the moment thoughts and feelings when they got in their own way to ask a question. We settled on an interrupt to practice – ‘asking questions is not a show of weakness it’s a route to strength’. Given this is a topic that has cropped up with others I asked if they’d mind if I shared it. They said yes and therefore here it is.
The phrase is just the first step to overcoming this limiting area of the person’s performance. Having decent questions to follow up with is also key. These also benefit from thinking about them in advance.
Is asking questions a natural part of your performance or something you shy away from?