Cute and confused looking toddler with question mark on a post-it note on her forehead.
Image: © Hafiez Razali/

How good are you at asking questions?

24 Jan 2020

There’s more to asking great questions at work than just bombarding colleagues with queries, and how you ask a question may be as important as what you ask.

We’ve likely all been told how ‘there are no stupid questions’ at some point in our lives. Whether it’s coming from a teacher, a colleague or a mentor, it’s a commonly repeated phrase. But do we believe it?

Well, successful entrepreneurs certainly seem to, so maybe we should follow their lead. LendingOne CEO Bill Green, for example, has highlighted the counterproductive nature of not asking for more information when you don’t immediately understand something. “It prohibits personal growth,” he said.

It can take time and effort to overcome a fear of asking questions in the workplace, especially if you’ve had the unfortunate experience of being ridiculed for it in the past. To help you begin to work on it, NetCredit has put together some top tips.

It’s an important skill to cultivate, NetCredit advises, because it “not only improves your creative thinking, but it demonstrates your listening and comprehension skills. It shows that you are engaged and eager to learn”.

Asking questions about your question

But what are the types of questions you should be asking? This is a crucial aspect, according to NetCredit. Making sure you ask ‘good questions’, it says, results in greater mutual understanding, revealing important relevant information about the person answering and the one asking.

The skills involved in creating good questions draw on some self-reflection and simple practise. As NetCredit says: “Asking a great question is as much an art as giving a great speech.” One of the most critical elements, in fact, is asking some questions about your question. Considering parameters such as who you’re asking and why you want the answer, for example, will help you “get more satisfying answers when talking with your colleagues and clients”.

Will 2020 be the year you start asking more questions at work? See NetCredit’s infographic below or click here to view it as a larger image.

An infographic guide about excelling at asking questions at work.

How to ask great questions at work. Image: NetCredit

Want stories like this and more direct to your inbox? Sign up for Tech Trends, Silicon Republic’s weekly digest of need-to-know tech news.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading