In my previous post The Art of questioning, why we should ask question, we have discussed on some facts about the art of questioning and its benefits. So today let us analyze the reason why we do not ask questions and the possible solutions for the same.
There are two main reasons why we do not ask questions or why we lack curiosity.
- Environmental or Upbringing
Personal: Let us analyze the personal reason in details
1. Fear: one of the main reason why we do not ask questions
Fear of what other people think, fear of what if I have asked a dumb question, people may laugh at me.
Solution: “Face your Fear”.
Yes, it is easy to say than doing it. However, we need to face our fear. If you fear to ask questions in a public forum. Then you can start developing the habit of asking questions in a smaller set of people, or you can start in a one-to-one conversation.
All I am trying to say is that we need to start developing a habit of asking questions; once it will be part of our habit we will start asking questions at the public forum also. In addition, once you start asking questions, your logical thinking will improve and you will start asking more logical and wonderful questions, which will benefit not only you but also people at large.
2. Ego: Why we do not ask questions because we have ego
If this is the case then it is a bit dangerous, as fighting with fear is much easier than fighting with Ego. We do not ask questions when we think we know it all. Moreover, if you really know it all then you should be on the other side of the table. However, you do not know it all, you have no fear but still, you are not asking questions because of your status and ego then it is very dangerous.
Solution: As we already know, asking questions makes us humble, so here also the solution is asking questions only. If in the public forum you do not want to ask questions because of your Ego, do not ask. Ask the question to the presenter in a break one-on-one, but ask. Once you start asking questions in this way you will understand that you do not know all things, there are a lot many things to learn, this will make you humble, and you will start asking questions in public forums also.
There are people who have a very good question to ask but still, they do not ask because they are too shy and they do not want attention.
Solution: These types of people need some practice and preparation so they need to do is:
- Decide that you will speak up at least once during a meeting.
- Give yourself a reward, if you will ask a question in today’s forum or discussion or meeting you will buy this.
- Eliminate your negative thoughts and ask questions by the closing your eyes when you are alone.
- Sometimes we really are our own worst enemy.
- Do not allow your inner critic to put you down.
4. Other People are not asking:
Wah, what a reason for not asking questions.
Solution: If other people are not asking questions it could be they are falling under any of the above categories or they really do not have anything to ask, but that does not mean that you will not ask any questions.
These are the few basic personal reasons why people do not ask questions especially when they are at the public forum.
Environmental or Upbringing: Yes this affects our mindset and become main reason why we do not ask questions
Now let us understand this:
1. Discouragement by parents:
As a parent, we sometimes discourage our child for asking so many questions and sometimes we even punish them for asking questions in front of Guests or when we are at any public place. Therefore, the upbringing of a child plays a major role. We should not kill the curiosity of a child.
2. Our Education System:
After upbringing, the second reason is our primary education system. We often get complains from a teacher in a Parent-Teacher Meeting that your child is asking so many questions. We need to understand that which is the normal scenario, asking questions, or being silent. Rather than this complaint, there should be a complaint that your child is not asking anything in class.
3. Your Friends:
Then comes the third reason, before you become mature enough to understand the importance of asking questions and learning. Your friends, relatives, and companions with whom you spend most of the time, these people easily influence us. They control how we think, how we act or react. We start behaving in a particular way and we become like them. Therefore, if they discouraged our habit of questioning, slowly we stop asking questions and our curiosity is killed.
Conclusion and some thoughts:
I believe these are the main reason why we are not challenging the status quo, why we do not ask questions, why our curiosity is killed.
Therefore, we need to work toward this and change our way of thinking so that we can develop a habit of asking questions in our child, students, or our friends. It is our responsibility, our social responsibility.
Having said all that, while we have to get better at asking questions, it is also equally important to be in an environment, which fosters the culture of asking questions and giving encouraging answers. Below are a few pointers on how to achieve this:
- Do not make fun of others or shame them for asking questions.
- It is perfectly fine to not know the answer to everything.
- Be humble in accepting the above fact.
- Encourage people to ask questions.
- Learn new things while discovering answers to unknown questions.
- Encourage your kids to ask questions and answer their questions nicely.
- Share your learning
Let us encourage people for asking questions and let us make a good environment for people to ask questions.