Being, first, in the automotive industry and now in the Restaurant industry and even more specifically in the training world, I have come across a lot of information. Some of it useful, some of it completely non-essential information – at that time; and some information that I have since forgotten and will never, ever in my life need again. Nonetheless, its information put into some bucket to use in various ways. What I have learned from all of that is in every email, voicemail I leave and even before I hang up every business conversation, the words out of my mouth are “Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.”
Here’s why I say this.
If there is any type of reading material that you are given, be sure to read it before asking questions. Unlike others, I will never repeat myself. If someone asks me a question I have already answered in a communication, I generally point that person back to the original resource. Learn your resources. People type and say things so you have a resource. Use it wisely.
Asking a question does not make you look dumb; to anyone. It means, to anyone, that you have thought about what you have read, or watched or had a conversation about and you didn’t completely understand it and you want to know more. It is better to ask and know the right answer then to ascertain that you have the right answer and spout out information that may not be accurate. That, in turn will make you look dumb and ultimately irritate the person you are probably trying to help answer questions.
“There is no such thing as a dumb question.” This is a truth. People miss things when they read, especially if there is a lot of information to take in. Be smart about the questions you ask. If you are given some kind of literature to read and you have a question, think about it. For example: You are given new information about a new product that you have to discuss in a meeting and present it. The information you received came from different departments and your job is to pull them all together. Your question is “How much chocolate will this product yield?” Something like this is probably somewhere in the information you were given. Think about who this information would have come from. Before you send out another email, look through the information provided to you by the department that information would have come from.
Another example: Do you really think someone would assign you to a location and not provide you the means of how to get to where you are going? If you don’t want to look dumb, first think about your resources. If you cannot find it, then ask. Maybe you were given a link to the locations website, or a store number or a phone number to contact the person you are going to visit in order to get directions.
My mission in life is to gather information. Learn something new every day; small, medium or large.
Lesson for today:
1) Ask questions
2) Don’t answer questions you don’t actually know the answer to. Ask questions
3) Use your resources. If you don’t know where those resources are found… Ask questions.
That’s all. Enjoy the rest of your week!