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Tell or ask?

January 18th, 2010 Kevin Leave a comment Go to comments

Depends on the end goal. I find for most things, asking works out better than telling.

Why ask when we know? Why not just tell?

Asking from a sense of wonder helps clear the moment. Questions let the person I am with express his or her thoughts. Then, I learn something and the other person reminds himself or herself how he or she thinks through things. We both benefit.

Asking questions helps us experience things from another’s point of view.

Asking questions and following up on the answers helps us see and feel things differently. Particularly when we ask to learn from a state of wonder; that’s when we seek sense of what we hear. The questions help us find mutual understanding. We learn what common sense we share together.

Asking questions helps the other person think through things.

Questions help the other person think about what he or she is saying and how it fits in with how that person gets things done. Many times the person invents a first-time response. This invention process is powerful for the person because what we say we own better than what other people tell us. This, in a nutshell, is why asking is better than telling.

Next time you want to tell someone something, ask a question. The result may surprise you.

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