Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Asking Too Many Questions Will Not Demonstrate Smartness




Last week I went to a leadership seminar in which a big fish from the top management of a well know enterprise shared his knowledge. I went half an hour earlier and was having a chat with some of the professionals and managers who came there for the seminar. Surprisingly, they were discussing about how to ask some reasonable number of questions to the guy who was yet to come to share his knowledge on the importance of leadership and his company's strategies for the future. I wondered why these people are preparing questions that too with a motive to impress him with questions. Can questions demonstrate smartness and impress others? I don't think so. Not only in this programme, but also in most of the training programmes that I have been attending so far, people are planning to shoot out questions with an attitude that asking questions will create a good impression in the trainer's mind. Of course, it does but not every time and if you ask questions intentionally to impress him, you will be caught soon.

Asking a question is good but it should not be used as a tool to grab others attention towards you or to make others think that you are the only person who has the knowledge of the subject discussed. Questions should be posted only with an attitude to learn new concepts or clarify concepts that you have already learnt or currently learning. When you attend a leadership seminar or training programme, you should always keep your mind open for new ideas to come in. Do not stick around with what you have learnt in the past and sit with those thoughts in the programme. It will not let you get the core idea of the programme. One thing you can do is to relate the ideas which are in your mind to the current ideas being taught and answer the questions posted to you. This is the one which is going to demonstrate smartness and your interest in the subject thereby creating a good impression in the mind of the person who is standing in front of you to make you understand his ideas.

First of all, a leader needs to be good listener. If you are in a training program, try to observe whatever is taught to you and make sure you come out of the presentation hall with clarity in thoughts. To ensure this you may ask questions. This is a healthy approach. And remember, in any training programme, your answers should be more than your questions. This is going to impress everybody around you. People always follow the person who resolves an issue rather than raise an issue. You should solve problems rather than raise problems.

The way you answer also counts. A perfect leader's answers should be unambiguous and to the point. It should not be evasive at any point. He should be able to extract the essence of idea from his mind and express it in a crisp and precise format that can be understood by everyone. This is one of the best soft skills a leader has to acquire to demonstrate his clarity of knowledge.

The feel of satisfaction and happiness fills up a teacher's mind when he or she comes to know that his or her ideas have reached the students successfully. You try to give it by your answers.
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