Encouraging “dumb” questions

Many people do not have time for “dumb” questions but encouraging all questions will quickly bring greater transparency, trust and understanding to all forms of communication.

As a corporate trainer for over 25 years, I cannot count the number of times that I have heard someone in class say “that was my question too”.  Getting a class trusting enough to ask questions, is invaluable.  It can make the difference between a fine class and a great one.  Hint: it works the same in meetings too.

I approach this several different ways:

I always respond positively to all questions. Give all questions respect and space, answer them seriously and without signs of frustration or annoyance.

I ask the first “dumb” question (even if I know the answer).  Might as well be the one to break the ice.  Where is the Ladies room?  Is there a kitchenette nearby?  How do I get back to the parking garage?

If I overhear a question before class I will address it as part in class (without mentioning names).  This lets the attendees know that I am okay being asked whatever questions they have.

Encourage all questions – remember: One person’s dumb question is another person’s smart one.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

How can we help you?

Relationships sometimes start with the smallest of actions. We would love to hear from you and spend some time talking about your specific training needs and developing a relationship to help you meet those needs.

Let’s make contact and talk about your training needs.