Asking questions gives us power over our circumstances. It allows us to move from being a victim to becoming an agent of change for our self.
Hello everyone and welcome to episode 97. Today we consider the good things that can come our way when we overcome our natural hesitancy to ask questions.
We’ve been talking in recent episodes about the A component of the ORA principle of deepening relationships. Observe – Remember – Ask.
Specifically, Ask in the context of interpersonal relationships, and Ask in the context of self-awareness, to Ask ourselves questions as to why we do the things we do.
But Ask is also a powerful tool in other relationships. It’s very useful in our jobs. In our parenting. And in dealing with providers of goods and services.
Keep listening to learn how.
Asking questions of those who provide of good and services
Story of buying that burgundy blazer for our daughter Jennifer when she was about 10 years old.
- No size on the rack fit her
- I asked if I could check out the size of the blazer hanging display on their display
- “You can’t do that” and the discussion that followed
- I’ll put another one up in its place
- No, then I’d have to ask my manager
- Well, could you go ahead and do that?
The day we bought a sofa. Delivery was not included. I asked the question if they would make an exception. “Well, I’d have to ask my boss” Please do so.
Applied English class I taught. Student projects asking companies for redress of grievances. Case of coke, new leather jacket, street plowed.
Teaching our children to ask questions
Story of our son asking his history teacher for extra credit to get an “A.” Promised a plane ticket to Baltimore to see his girlfriend. Offered the same deal to Eleanor, his daughter who had the same problem decades later: a plane ticket to Baltimore.
Asking questions is a great skill to teach your kids. Ask the hard questions, it will help you get what you want.
As a parent, if and when someone wants to marry your adult child, don’t hesitate to ask that potential son or daughter-in-law questions. Episode 027 is about the time I met with my future son-in-law when he asked for my blessing to marry our daughter. His one question of me prompted 17 questions for him. I share these questions in episode 027, When He Asks to Marry Your Daughter.
Asking questions in our jobs
I was starting to get bored at my teaching job, so I asked to create a new course on creativity. School board approved. Gave me time to do research on the subject. Taught it to 8th and 9th graders. It was a subject that interested me and I thought kids could really benefit from it. It eased my boredom.
As a recruiter, I would ask an employer, “why did you decline a job offer to my candidate?” Can learn things for the time next around. How you can change, or maybe it had nothing to do with you. They may have put the job on hold, the other candidate was far more qualified.
Even when the answer to our Ask is “no,” we can learn from it and grow
The benefits of asking questions
- It’s an opportunity to see God at work when your ask is based on praying ahead of time. It draws you closer to God.
- Gives you a voice. A sense of control. You cease being a victim
- Increases your chance of getting what you want after the initial “no”
- Learn from getting a “no”, which will help get you a “yes” next time
- Gave me confidence in our daughter’s choice of a future husband. It deepened my relationship with him and our daughter. It will do the same for you if you’re ever in that situation
So what does all this mean for YOU?
How can you use what you’ve heard in this episode to improve the quality of YOUR relationships? Here are a few ideas:
Ask Jesus to show you what questions to ask. Questions to ask in a kind, gentle, non-threatening manner. Questions that get to the truth of a matter.
If you are bored in your job, ask for a new one. Ask if you could design a new job within your company.
When someone says “no” to your ask, what can you learn from the “no”? If for no other reason, it may boost your self-confidence to know there were circumstances out of your control that prevented your ask from being granted.
Ask for an exception to a policy. Especially ask “I’d like you to send me a copy of the document containing the policy…”
The main point I hope you remember from today’s episode
Asking questions, in the context we’ve been discussing, gives us power over our circumstances. It allows us to move from being a victim to becoming an agent of the change we desire for our life.
I hope you noticed that in this episode I have not repeated that old adage, “It never hurts to ask.” That’s because I’ve come to learn over many decades that it just isn’t true. I used to be the poster child for it never hurts to ask. But not anymore.
There are indeed times when it hurts to ask. I’ll be exploring the it never hurts to ask myth in next week’s episode, no. 098. Just two shows away from our first ever triple-digit-episode, number 100.
I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about today’s episode. Just send them to me in an email to email@example.com. I may share them in a future episode unless you say otherwise. You can also share your thoughts in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the show notes.
In closing, if you found the podcast helpful, please subscribe and I’d appreciate it if you would leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts. It will help us to serve more people just like you.
I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to both reflect and to act. So that you will find the joy God intends for you through your relationships. Because after all, You Were Made for This.
Well, that’s all for today. See you next week. Goodbye for now.
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Related resources that may interest you
Blog post from July 29, 2020, Ask Someone What They Are Feeling
The following past episodes:
088 – Get Them to Say, “Thank You for Asking”
027 When He Asks to Marry Your Daughter
064 – Start With This Question to Ask
065 – End With This Important Question
Thank you for the encouragement of this message to go ahead and ask. It really hit home. Many times I struggle to come up with a question that will open a conversation. But equally important is asking questions when approaching a text of scripture that we may think we already know. It takes humility and vulnerability to decide to ask more questions. This will be my challenge this week. please hold me accountable!
It’s good to hear from you again. Thanks for your response. I’m glad you were encouraged to go ahead and ask. I like what you said about asking questions about a text of scripture.
One question I have is why in the Gospels does Jesus, after he heals people, so often tells them “Don’t tell anyone, but then most of them go ahead and tell everyone anyway?
By the way, in next week’s episode I share examples of me asking people those two questions and how they responded.