Possibly one of the most important things a human learns is to ask questions.
The good news is: Every kid learns it. You can tell the parents of kids that just learned it from the blood dripping from their ears.
The bad news is: Almost everybody unlearns it during their time in school. So you might have to relearn it. Here is what you have to do:
The next time you are in a meeting or in the audience of a conference talk and don’t grasp what somebody else is talking about, look around and do the following estimate:
- 10% of the people are actually understood everything. They will be glad when somebody asks because it will show how smart they are.
- 50% are asleep anyway and don’t care what is happening, as long as they can sleep a little longer.
- 40% are just as clueless as you are but haven’t read this blog, so they don’t dare to ask.
- The speaker will be glad, because everybody asking a question was obviously awake during the talk, which is some kind of positive feedback.
So everybody will be better of . Tell me again, why aren’t you asking your question?
By the way: Just last week we had a small internal conference at LINEAS for all employees with talks by various employees. We also had Jurgen Appelo as a key note speaker, and he gave his talk at the local scrum user group the evening before as well. I am proud to say, I was kind of responsible for getting Jurgen over to Braunschweig.
Rumors say people where wondering “How did Jens pull that of?” Easy: I asked.