Have you ever been asked a question and thought “what a silly question”?

I bet you have!

But have you ever stopped to think what made it seem “silly” to you?

In my experience questions often tend to seem “silly” when the answer is glaringly obvious to us.

Let me give you an example…

If you were asked “how do I get my voicemails on my mobile phone?” how would you feel?

Well I am guessing that if like me you are never very far away from your mobile, then you are likely to think the question a bit “silly”.

After all it is simple isn’t it.

So your response might be something along the lines of “you just hold the ‘key’ down. Although that in itself can be confusing given the number of touchscreen phones now.

Now consider someone who isn’t familiar with using the voicemail function would they know which key you meant?

If they didn’t, would they feel able to ask you to clarify or would they feel too embarrassed?

The question they actually needed to ask, to get the right information was “which button do I press to get my voicemails?”

So why didn’t they just ask that….

Because they simply don’t know that there is a button to press.

I hope that now you can start to see that when we are asked a question, often we make the mistake of thinking that everyone knows what we know.

This is particularly important in business where if we are experienced at whatever it is, we will often respond to questions without thinking about how much the other person already knows.

So before you respond to the next “silly question” make sure you stop and think about the person who is asking the question and see things from their perspective before you respond.

I would love to hear other examples of “silly questions” share them in the comment box below.