Magazine article Journal of Property Management

To Question or Not to Question.That Is the Question

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

To Question or Not to Question.That Is the Question

Article excerpt

That's an adage people repeat confidently: "There's no such thing as a stupid question." Who are they trying to fool?

You've been in this situation: Someone asks an innocent question for all the right reasons, but afterward, you can feel the chill in the air, hear the thud as the question falls flat and see all eyes turn to the person whose choice of questions is being judged negatively. It's not to say the question should be thought of as stupid; conversely, you should be able to ask all questions that aid in your understanding of any subject. However, there are situations in which it is inappropriate to ask questions. I know I've been in more than my fair share.

How people think of you can change when the wrong question is asked of the wrong person or asked at the wrong time. Yet, when used wisely at the right time, with the right audience asking a question can result in learning, showing your strength and garnering respect. What's the difference?

DON'T ASK

"BETTER TO REMAIN SILENT AND BE THOUGHT A FOOL THAN TO SPEAK AND REMOVE ALL DOUBT."

-ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Remain silent when the recipient of your potential question is of a critical, competitive, arrogant or intimidating nature and it's important to you that this person does not think less of you and no harm comes from not asking the question at that moment. Perhaps it's an angry client or a contractor who'd use it to take advantage of you.

Don't miss opportunities to learn. Make note of your question and hold it for a different time or to pose to a different person. …

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