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Be Careful What You Ask For!

Be CarefulRecently I asked one of my networks for help. I was looking for topics that I could write to, to meet a personal challenge that I had set myself.

Many of my friends rose to the challenge and I have received an amazing response. Two of my friends even gave me an amazing list of 20 or more topics they thought I could write on… thank you all.

And I mean ALL, even those that didn’t understand what I was asking for and started to give me advice on how to get topics. The reason I say this, is that those friends with well-meaning advice made me realise that I hadn’t asked a very clear question, my request was too general.

In fact…


With a better question I could have given a clearer explanation and been less frustrated, as well as received a lot more responses.

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Let me clarify this. When I asked for topics, many thought I didn’t have any and started to point out to me where I could find some. The fact was, I didn’t need more information, I needed less. Because I have this massive information that is my body of knowledge, I realised I was too close to the information to break it down into meaningful topics that I could use.

What I should have asked was, “How can I help you in your business with specific information covering these particular areas that I have some knowledge of?”

So my question to you is, How many times do you make a request for information, action, assistance and you don’t get what you asked for?”

I don’t know about you, but it happens to me often enough that I needed to write this article.

The real downside of asking the wrong question is that even though we think we know what were asking for, the responses tell us differently. We get frustrated and sometimes annoyed at the respondents, because we often think that they should know what we want. However, that is rarely the case. We blame others for their inadequacies when in fact, they were never at fault. We need to look in the mirror for the real cause of the problem, and learn to become more tolerant, not just of others but of ourselves as well.

The key to learning to ask a better question lies in good feedback. This is very easy when you are having a conversation because you can ask a question, listen to the response, gauge its merit, and then ask a better question, particularly if it doesn’t give you the result you’re looking for.

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However, when you write and ask questions, it is important to spend some time considering the implications of any question you ask. It is important to make things simpler and clearer, and have a good idea about the responses you are looking for. A good practice is to ask your question to a friend or relative before you commit it to written format. That way, you can gauge their response and check to see if your question is, in fact a better question.

Remember, a better question will give you a clearer answer. A clearer answer will help you create an effective decision, and an effective decision will generate greater income and profitability.

Go ask a better question, it’s really fun.

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