Sunday, 31 May 2015

How To Ask Questions - The Art of Asking

Researches across the globe are running to know "How to invoke question asking tendency in students". And before I go further I would like to admit the fact that yes, there should be questions in our communication and learning because it enhances the deep knowledge and our interest in the subject as well.
But nowhere I have seen any research going on "What should be asked?" And the more important one "How should we ask?" If you think its an unworthy point to think about just think about your bloodsucker classmate who used to keep on asking stupid questions just to show his presence. Oh! do not get angry on him. He is not with you now. 

What should be asked?

The theory behind asking and answering is not necessarily to be figured out using your highly intelligent mind. It can simply be understood by some practical examples. So, the first thing- What should be asked? As initially I stated that asking questions is necessary. And for asking something you have to overcome your hesitation. But what if you have overcame it in such a way that you don't care even if the surrounding crowd is making fun of you. And moreover, the answering authority is trying to stop you before you started to ask. This may happen to everyone, so before asking something check out these points. 
  • Do you really have that query or is it just to show it off that you are there in the meet?
  • Does your question really make any sense?
  • Have you thought enough about the point you are going to ask?
  • Are you there with all the homework and pre-requisites needed to understand the topic.
If  you answer yes to all these points - OK! go ahead with the next thing.

How should we ask?

So here is the bigger thing. 'How to Ask' is a key not only to gain knowledge and clarify things but also to make a good impression. I found a very clear answer to this question in the Bhagwat Gita, the most enchanted Hindu scripture. In its 4th chapter, 34th verse, it is given that Ask submissively in be in the mood of servant at the time you are asking. Its a very practical thing. If you want me to answer your question elaborately you first of all have to be submissive otherwise I would either avoid or ignore you. 

There is also a sub-question in this regard - "How often we should ask?" So the fundraising consultant Ken Burnett while putting this topic clears -
It may be the wrong question, but it deserves an answer.
He explains his answer in the light of his experience in fundraising field but I would like to generalize it taking a slightly different meaning of the thing "How often". Actually it depend of three basic thing- The Time, The Place and The Circumstances. 

The Time Factor

Suppose you are going to a long journey with your friends to enjoy your holidays. Now one of your friend start asking questions regarding the places you are passing by. One or two questions are alright but it will surely fed you up if he ask three in a row. So the point is that you should keep in mind the time factor whether it is to enjoy or to rest.

The Place Factor 

In a meeting you got the opportunity to share your time with an exalted delegation. Now they are trying to give a new direction to the discussion but you have many questions. Now, should you ask? Nope!!! As its a place where discussion is running among higher ranked personalities, your one question may lead the discussion to a wrong direction. So don't interrupt.

The Circumstance Factor

It is a common behavior to ask about his health to the ailing person. But take the extreme case of the person who is on the death bed. He needs support but you mustn't ask him "Tell me in detail how all this happened?" So the circumstance you are in is the most important thing you should care of.
Finally I envelope my words with a simple line - Do Ask But Don't Annoy.

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