We often hear "good question!" or "there's no silly question", but questions are just the starting point of a meaningful reasoning.
|Asking questions is a good habit... except when it's better not to!|
Everyone knows about the "what, where, when, who" that allows you to dig into a matter and take actions. But there's also the "why" that searches for meaning and sometimes hurts the person who's answering it if he/she hasn't thought enough about it.
"Why did you send an insult letter to a customer?" "He had been anal over the phone and I wanted to explain myself..."
"Why didn't you finish your work on time?" "Well, it was late on Friday evening and I thought I'd finish it on Monday..."
You can even ask "why" several times over, often 5 times is enough, and dig even deeper into the root cause.
"Why where you late in finishing your work?" "I was waiting for Marc's email"
"Why did Marc's email come late?" "He was working on other stuff with higher priority"
"Why did you tell him how urgent your own work was?" "Yes, but he said he had more urgent things to do"
"Why didn't you tell me about it?" "I thought I had to wait for Marc to finish first"
"Why did you choose to wait instead of telling me about the issue?" "I know there's a problem with Marc and I'll seek help next time I run into problems"
In the end, asking questions is just part of an investigative process and is as such just a tool to make situations clearer. Make sure you don't just ask questions but go to the root of the matter, no matter what!