Can you PLEASE start asking questions?

Do you NEVER ask a question for fear of standing out in a classroom or work setting? Do you think you’ll sound like an idiot for asking a question? During every single class I tell my students “please ask me anything….there are no stupid questions…..your question will benefit others…” But no one asks any questions.

And then they proceed to freak out because they don’t know what they’re doing.  They don’t know how to use a particular system (library system; excel; a specific software etc). And they just stay silent. This is not just a problem with university or college students, this is a problem employers complain about also.

What’s wrong with just saying “I don’t know how to do that?” GREAT!  Let’s figure it out. Let me show you how, or direct you to where you can go for help. Having a game plan is so much better than drifting off aimlessly into a stress filled anxiety-ridden abyss. (a little dramatic for sure). Believe me, you’ll save yourself and your professor or boss a lot of grief/time/stress if you ask a question right away, rather than after a problem has occurred.

Asking a question is proactive. Coming to me afterwards with your problems is reactive. See the difference? You ask me a question right away because you need clarification and I think you’re eager, dedicated and you have a “take-charge” or can-do attitude. 

Come to me weeks later with your problems because you couldn’t find the courage to simply ask a question or ask for help, and now I think you’re disorganized, passive, scattered, & lacking in initiative.

Asking a question moves you forward. Keeping silent keeps you where you are.

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