It has been said that there are no stupid questions. Whoever originally said that has never watched a movie with my mother. There are stupid questions and that’s okay.
What’s not okay is the fear of asking questions you are afraid will make you look bad.
Sure, everyone wants to put their best foot forward. We all love to make a good impression. But you’re doing a lot of harm to yourself by trying to ask what you think are ‘the right’ questions.
“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins
You may ask surface level questions, but by not admitting your true struggles, you hold back on getting the answers you need the most.
Why does this happen?
People don’t ask the questions they most need the answers to because of ego. No one wants to look like they don’t know what they’re doing. Your pride gets in the way of getting the help you need.
Even if you have a coach or mentor (and you should) you may not be getting the most out of them. You’re allowing your ego to keep you from being vulnerable.
Recently I was having coffee with Jason Elkins and this subject came up. I mentioned that he always asks great questions and is honest about whatever he has going on at that time. His response took me by surprise.
He said he was vulnerable on purpose. He knows not to let his ego get in the way of him getting the answers he needs to move forward. That impresses me more than those who act like they’ve always got it together.
But there’s a bigger picture here I want to share with you.
Certain questions will only get you so far. When you see someone achieving what you’d like to achieve, you ask questions about the actions they’ve taken to get there. That’s important, but not nearly as important as the thoughts behind those actions.
And there lies the key to you reaching your goals.
Copying actions does not guarantee the same results.
You must know the thoughts and habits behind those actions. That’s the kind of questions to ask. Don’t model someone’s product or service, model their behavior.
I’ve witnessed people ask successful authors about which publisher they work with, which book cover is their favorite, and even which font size they recommend.
The answers to these questions isn’t going to make that person a great author. Instead they should be asking about the thought process behind that authors writing. What are their routines and habits for writing? How do they get past writers-block, self-doubt, and other things that stand in the way of producing great work.
So next time you have a chance to speak with someone who is where you want to be, ask them questions about their habits, thoughts, and behaviors. Don’t be afraid to be honest and upfront about where you are currently.
The answers to those questions will help you far more than you realize.