Don't we all know how to ask questions? Just ask! - Wrong
Here's why it's wrong.
There are no Dumb questions, only lazy ones.
When asking questions, we're looking for the best-fit answer. Not to fit our worldview, but to understand from a different perspective.
Here's a guide to asking a better questions.
Who is the most important part of a question. It will dictate the response and answer.
Like most husbands, I misplace my stuff very often. My wife finds it, she keeps it. Now, would it make sense to ask my kids? No.
That's how it works in the real world. Ask people who have the authority, who have done the job and knows the answer.
My dad is a seasoned businessman. He excels at B2B, tenders and proposals. Do I ask him about B2C business? No. He's not the subject matter expert.
You are asking as to what? What have you learned about the problem? How deep do you know before asking the question?
Most of the questions I get from DM are vague. And I refuse to answer them. Here's one.
Stranger: What book do you read on Marketing?
Edwin: What have you read?
Stranger: Not sure where to start. That's why I asked you.
Do you see how dumb the question is?
Even if I give my top 3 books, it would not be helpful to them. Because at this point in time, anything the stranger reads will definitely be good a read.
Publishers don't publish books without carefully vetting the facts. Who are we to question the legitimacy of a book when we've read none?
Framing is giving context to the question. Without context, any answer is wrong.
Stranger: Can you check my copywriting? I'm selling on X platform but could not get a sale.
While this looks like a simple to answer, it's not. There are many more questions that need answering.
If I keep asking more questions, it becomes a consultative job, which will take attention away from my real job.
And then mannerism.
Stranger: Check my website, slow.
Though we can deduce the meaning of the question, it's lazy. And who are we to instruct other people to check for us?
Take your time crafting your question. Give context and be courteous.
When we have questions about a problem we are trying to solve, write it down and frame it as detailed as we can.
Sometimes the answer is already in our face. We are too lazy to figure it out.
Finally, there are no right or wrong. This isn't an exam. If it works for you, great. If it doesn't, it's not the end of the world.
If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.- Einstein