M3 is covered in questions. As many as five are at the end of each post. Some posts are almost all questions. One of the M3 logos is captioned…What’s with all the questions? Let’s discuss, and ask a few, questions.
You have heard the adage:
You will never know if you never ask the question.”
Many times it is true. Where we get into trouble is the way in which we ask the questions.
High on many people’s pet peeve list is this quote:
Can I ask you a question?”
- Yes, you are able.
- You already have.
- Your time is up.
Another equally annoying quote is:
I doubt you will know the answer.”
Then, do not ask me. You underestimation of my knowledge and information is underwhelming. This statement also lets me know you do not value my time because you are going to waste it sharing what you do not know and assume I also do not know.
We learn a lot of things by experience, i.e. trial and error. We can speed up the process by asking questions before we begin something, especially something new. Much like reading the directions, we can ask others for their advice on how to expedite our task, which tools would make it easier and how to avoid undesirable outcomes.
The flip side of this coin is using questions as a teaching tool. As we all know, teenagers know everything. Therefore, when there is a lesson to be taught, posing questions, rather than orating, is one of the most effective means of communication. By asking Teen for knowledge, Teen must process the question and find such knowledge sufficient, lacking or wrong.
By asking instead of telling, you are also reinforcing the trust in your relationship. After all, you do not ask advice from those you do not trust, often.
Seeking the answers is often a quest. You travel (even virtually) from one to the other in search of what will satisfy your query. It cannot become a quest unless you have already gotten the dreaded answer:
I don’t know”
One of the key components after you do discover the answer is on the return journey. You need to stop at everyone you met along the way and give them the power to share what you learned. You can cure the I don’t know.
In order to get a quality answer, you must ask a quality question. For instance, if you want to know where something is, do not ask:
Have you seen my hammer?” or
Do you know where my hammer is?”
You will get a yes or no answer, which is not what you seek. Asking the right question will get you the answer:
Where is my hammer?”
Similarly, if you are seeking assistance, ask for it specifically:
Will you help me find my hammer?”
Teaching children to ask the correct question is imperative. Without the correct verbiage, they will be frustrated with their attempts to gather knowledge and request help. When they ask an improper question, model the correct question for them and have them repeat it before you supply the answer.
Be brave. If you do not know, ask. You have heard it before…
The best time to ask a question is when you:
- are almost sure you know the answer.
- have absolutely no idea.
- heard it from someone else.
- can only remember the majority (or even a little) of it.
- want to know.
- think there may be a (faster, safer, better) way.
Questions are the way we learn about one another. Whether we want to know more about a potential Mate or our Child, asking directly is the safest approach. You should never fear asking a question of (Quaint, Mate, Child). Be honest about why you want to know, but be prepared. Prepared for what?
- The answer: Sometimes the truth hurts.
- Anger: If you talked to someone else first.
- Laughter: If you should already know the answer.
Questions exercise the brain. Brain exercises keep the mind young and help maintain memory. Try to ask three questions everyday.
Who was the last person you asked a question? What is the strangest question you have been asked? Do you ask or answer questions everyday?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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