This is something everybody uses; yet on a number of occasions they feel silence trumps silly, or banal, or demonstrating that they don’t have all the knowledge they need to proceed. Its human nature to want to have all the facts before proceeding on a project, just as it should be human nature to want to confirm information if there is any possible chance your results will be contrary to what is expected.
Not everybody has all the skills in the world needed to accomplish every goal. If they did then there would be no need for a learning curve, there would be no need for more than one person in any position of a company, no need for competition; either between firms or between employees (for positioning by friendly fire). If each of us had all the knowledge that we needed, then the world would be full of experts that did no research, because in their minds they knew everything. Interesting thoughts, huh?
No one person possesses all the knowledge needed to accomplish everything. Just as everyone needs assistance at one time or another to fulfill on an area of attention. The value placed on assistance is sometimes felt to be high for the sharing of common knowledge; and higher still if the request is 2 or 3 ‘attempts’ old.
When I ask a question, usually it will be after all avenues of research have been exhausted, or if I feel that it is something which could be answered in a matter of a couple of sentences. I am not asking that my project be completed by others, just a little assist to get over the hump causing a stall in production. In return, I fully expect that when a question arises in my area of expertise, that I will be consulted in return.
The one thing which confuses me, and I’m certain others reading this, is when someone (or myself) struggles through every possible scenario, wasting valuable time when all that needs to be done is to ask a simple question or two. Now I know there are times where knowledge is held at a premium (promotions or pecking order within a company, or even competition between offices.), BUT and this is a really big BUT, nobody learns anything major if they do not ask the right questions.
Think about your present situation moving forward. Do you have anyone to bounce ideas off of, or are you playing the aloof card and striving to fulfill your projects on your own?
My associates tell me time and again—>There are no silly questions, just avenues not explored! They want me to ask, regardless of how I feel about the situation, time and again until the knowledge sinks in. I appreciate this method of assistance as it allows me to proceed correctly, knowing that when I reach a roadblock with the project; one or two quick questions will be all it will take to put everything back on track. The same is true for them, should they need the help, I am more than willing to spend the time assisting them. THIS is what creates a strong working environment, and THIS is what will create strong teams. You are only as good as the weakest person on the team; before you think of replacing them, ask yourself if you did all you could as a mentor or a colleague to see that they had all the information which was required to accomplish their task. If the answer turns out to be ‘NO’ then the problem is not with the colleague, but with the team-leader for not establishing a clear line of communication. Everyone has someone with whom they answer to; The more positive the flow, the smoother the communication will be.
This gives all of us “Something to Think About!’
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