Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why Ask Why?

I've learned the hard way that it's better to ask sometimes even embarrassing questions than to have less than a full understanding of a situation.

There is an old story that is worth repeating. There was a young girl that was watching her mom prepare a large ham for Easter and saw her mom cut the end off of the ham before putting it in the roasting pan. She asked her mom why she cut off the end and the mom answered, "That the way my mother always made it". Grandma soon visited and the young girl decided to ask grandma why she cut the end off the ham before she baked it and grandma said, "that's the only way it would fit into the pan".

Perhaps you have found that asking, "why?" is really the key in unlocking many secrets and wisdom that otherwise would go unfound.

In the Book of Proverbs, there is a lot of advice about asking questions, about getting good counsel before making decisions. It's likely that Proverbs 12:15 sums it up in saying, "Fools think they are doing right, but the wise listen to advice."

Questions are great ways to find out about people, to get instruction, to find out what people really are thinking and to correct misconceptions we have about many things.

There was a time when I had to rely on asking questions in managing and leading others. When I first arrived in Mexico in 1997 I barely knew the language, the laws and the customs. I had to ask lots of questions in order to be helpful and encouraging. It taught me to continually ask questions as a way of leading others and leading myself as well.

Why ask 'why'? Ask 'why' if you are interested in being wise, particularly if you are interested in people and always when you want to be helpful.


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