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How to ask a question intelligently

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What should I ask my girlfriend in 20 questions?

These 20 questions to ask your girlfriend will help your relationship stay on track.

  • Do you like to plan dates or would you prefer that I planned more dates?
  • Where have you always wanted to go with me?
  • What is something you could never forgive in a relationship?
  • What class would you love to take together?

What are some good questions to ask ur girlfriend?

These are our questions to ask your girlfriend!

  • In what situations do you feel that I love you?
  • What do I mean to you?
  • What’s your favorite place to be with me?
  • Are you getting enough compliments from me?
  • How do you feel when we’re not together?
  • With what and how can I support you?

What is a good question to ask your girlfriend?

Fun Questions for Your Girlfriend Do you like watching movies with me? What’s your favorite word to say? If I looked completely different, would you still love me?\\ Have you ever had a dream about me? What do you think is the worst ice cream flavor? Who was your favorite cartoon character as a child? If you had a billion dollars, what would you do with it? How artistic are you?

What are 20 questions to ask a girl?

Never have I ever wanted my best friend’s SO to be my own SO. It’ll be a deep secret, but maybe she’ll actually share it. via: Pexels / Marlene Leppänen…

How soon to ask a girl to Be Your Girlfriend?

Depending on how strongly you feel about it, the earliest you can ask her is after your third date. It’s not the standard time to ask, but three dates is more than enough time to know if you want to see a person exclusively.

How do I ask someone to be my girlfriend?

The best way to ask a girl to be your girlfriend is to try the old-school way and write down a love letter. If you are too shy, then pick a greeting card that you think best describes your feeling, and give a personalized touch to it by writing down a few lines.

How to ask a question intelligently

Being properly organized and prepared for tests and exams can make all the difference to school performance. Effective studying starts with the right attitude—a positive outlook can shift studying from a punishment to an opportunity to learn.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when learning how to effectively study. Studying methods should be tailored to each student. Everyone has different abilities, so it is important to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. (Find out what type of learner you are and which study techniques will work best for you!)

For some students, studying and staying motivated comes easily — others may have to work a little bit harder.

What Is The Most Effective Way To Study?

Finding the best way to study is an ongoing process. It isn’t something that can be left to the night before the test. You should be constantly improving your study skills to better understand what works (and what doesn’t).

Learning how to study better helps avoid panic and frustration the next time a big test is coming up. After all, you are more likely to do well and be less stressed before a test when you have had time to properly review and practice the material!

Mastering effective study habits not only makes it easier to learn but will also help you get better grades in high school and post-secondary.

Discover the 12 secrets to studying effectively that will help you ace your next test.

How To Study Effectively

Get organized

Carry a homework planner at all times. Entering homework, projects, tests and assignments as soon as they are assigned will make sure they aren’t forgotten about.

Pay attention in class

It’s important to concentrate and avoid distractions when the teacher is speaking. Practice active listening by concentrating on what’s being said and taking notes in your own words. This will help make sure you hear (and understand) what is being taught in class.

Steer clear of distractions

Distractions are everywhere—from cell phones to social media to friends. Be aware of what distracts you in class and know how to steer clear of these distractions. Avoid sitting next to friends if you know they will distract you. Turning off your cell phone will also help make sure you are paying attention to your teacher.

Make sure notes are complete

Writing clear and complete notes in class will help you process the information you are learning. These notes will also become study notes that can be reviewed before a test. Talk to friends or the teacher if you have missed a class to ensure your notes are complete.

Ask questions if you don’t understand

Raise your hand and ask questions if you don’t understand something. If you don’t feel comfortable asking in front of everyone, write yourself a reminder to talk to the teacher after class.

Make a study schedule/plan

When making a study schedule, look at your planner and think about what needs to be accomplished. Think about the types of questions that will be on the test and the topics that will be covered so you know what you should focus on. Set specific goals for each study session, like how many topics you will cover by the end of the session.

Start Studying More Effectively

Get more out of your study sessions with the complete study toolkit
including note taking templates, tips, and more.

Review notes from class every evening

After school, review and expand on the notes from class. Reviewing notes helps move material learned from short-term memory into long-term memory, which will help next time you have a big test.

Talk to teachers

Teachers are there to help you do your best. Talk to your teacher and ask for clarification or extra help if you need it before your test. Taking the initiative to ask for help goes a long way with teachers!

Designate a study area

The best study spot is one that is quiet, well-lit, and in a low-traffic area. Make sure there is a clear workspace to study and write on. Everyone’s needs are different, so it is important you find a spot that works for you.

Study in short bursts

For every 30 minutes you study, take a short 10-15 minute break to recharge. Short study sessions are more effective and help you make the most of your study time. Find out more about taking a study break that works.

Simplify study notes

Make studying less overwhelming by condensing notes from class. Underline or highlight key words. Create visual aids like charts, story webs, mind maps, or outlines to organize and simplify information and help you remember better.

Study with a group

Working with classmates encourages an interactive environment to keep you engaged. This gives you a chance to test your knowledge with others, quiz each other on the content, and help boost each other’s confidence.

Study Smart, Not Hard

Knowing how to study effectively is a skill that will benefit you for life. Developing effective study skills requires lots of time and patience. If you follow these tips you’ll be on your way to discovering which type of studying works best for you—so you can knock your next test out of the park!

Find more study tips by watching our video below

Need some extra help? Oxford Learning is here for you. Get more study tips and learning resources to help you succeed in school:

How to ask a question intelligently

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“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” ― Voltaire

Are you being judged by your questions? Not moving forward in your career, business, marriage, or fill in the blank _______? It could be because you are not asking the right questions. You need to be good at asking questions.

You might not be getting the feedback you need to make corrections in your behavior. You might not be getting type of answers that you need to hear. You also might just be getting downright wrong information.

What Do You Want?

When you ask a question, you have to know what you want for an answer. I spent quite a few years in the military. We had intelligence reports coming in; we needed data, not someone’s opinion. That meant we wanted strictly the information. We did not want any interpretation. Just the facts, ma’am. When you are asking questions, make sure you put it in the right context.

Other times you might want someone’s opinion. For example, “What do you think of this cologne?” Sometimes you want a reasoned opinion or advice. “What is the route to get from uptown to downtown?” As you get ready to ask your question, make sure you have the right source and they know what you want from them.

  • Do I need a factually correct answer?
  • Do I need an expert opinion?
  • Do I need a well-reasoned judgment?

How to Be Amazingly Good at Asking Questions

Once you know what kind of information you need and who to ask, you have to ask your questions in a manner that gets the best possible information in response. Asking amazing great questions is skill like any other skill, it takes practice. Here are some techniques to draw out what you need to know.

1. Don’t Ask Yes or No Questions

When you ask a yes or no question, you will most often get incomplete information. Instead, ask an open-ended question. By using an open-ended question you get insights and additional information you might not have known existed. Questions with “would,” “should,” “is,” “are,” and “do you think” all lead to yes or no. Questions with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “how,” or “why” lead to people giving some thought to their answers and provide much more information.

2. Dig Deeper

Always consider using follow-up questions. Unless you are looking strictly for the facts, there is some sort of assumption in the answer the person gives you. Ask them a follow up question such as, “What makes you say that?” or “Why do you think that?”

Let’s say that you are talking to a co-worker and need to know details of a project. Your co-worker tells you that one of the suppliers has been very difficult to work on the project. You will want to follow up on that comment. A question such as “What do you mean he is difficult to work with?” will lead you to the real facts. It may not be because the supplier is particularly difficult to work with but rather is not reachable for quick communications or any number of outside reasons. Follow up questions give you insight and let you make your own opinions about things.

3. Use the Power of Silence

Start getting comfortable with asking a question, waiting for response, listening to the response and then waiting some more. Many times the person you are questioning has more information and will bring it out when you wait for it. You have to be comfortable with that silent period before the dam breaks. Police and military interrogators use silence very effectively. People feel a need to fill the holes in the conversation and often they will then bring out the critical bit of information you seek.

4. Don’t Interrupt

Don’t interrupt the person with whom you are talking. First, it tells the person you don’t value what they are saying. Interrupting stops their train of thought and directs the conversation the way you want, not necessarily the way it should go. Ask your question, then let the person answer it in full, even when you think you are not getting the answer you want. Listen fully to what they are saying and use that to direct them back to the topic in the next question when there is a natural pause.

If time is of the essence and the person has long strayed from the topic, then of course you need to interrupt. Be as polite as possible when doing it. This shows the person that you do respect what they are saying. Say something like, “Excuse me, I want to make sure I understand you. What I heard you say is…” and then bring them back on point to the matter at hand.

As you go forth in your quest for knowledge, remember that asking great questions takes practice. This implies that you probably won’t get it perfect every each outing. Just get started asking questions. Your skills will improve over time. Remember that if you want good answers, they come from asking good questions.

This article was co-authored by Christina Stathopoulos, PCC, ACCC and by wikiHow staff writer, Hunter Rising. Christina Stathopoulos is a Certified Leadership and Life Coach and the Founder of Hear Her Roar, a coaching service for women leaders. With more than five years of experience, she specializes in leadership development, relationships, empowerment, public speaking, and work-life balance. Christina holds a BA in Chemistry and English from Mount Holyoke College. She has also received her Professional Certified Coach Credential from The International Coaching Federation and Accomplishment Coaching Certification from Accomplishment Coaching.

There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 10,628 times.

If you’re trying to get a more detailed answer from someone, it’s important to ask them clear and concise questions. When you want a more thorough answer, you’ll have to structure your questions a little differently to get the info you want. We’ve put together a list of the best ways to pose your questions and how to encourage people to give the most informative responses.

How to ask a question intelligently

How to ask a question intelligently

Christina Stathopoulos, PCC, ACCC
Certified Leadership & Life Coach Expert Interview. 15 October 2021. Since the question is targeted towards them, they’ll have an easier time answering honestly. [3] X Research source

  • For example, asking “How did that meeting make you feel?” can refer to anything that happened in the meeting. A better question would be something like, “How did you feel after presenting to the district manager during the meeting?”
  • As another example, instead of asking, “What inspired your design?” you might try asking, “What inspired you to use the color blue throughout your work?”

How to ask a question intelligently

How to ask a question intelligently

How to ask a question intelligently

How to ask a question intelligently

Christina Stathopoulos, PCC, ACCC
Certified Leadership & Life Coach Expert Interview. 15 October 2021. Instead of asking another vague question on the topic, use funnel questioning to ask about a specific point from the previous answer. That way, you keep working toward the clearest and most honest answer. [8] X Research source

  • For example, if you’re asking about someone’s night, you might start with the question, “Where did you end up going last night?” If the person says they went out to a restaurant with friends, you might ask, “Who did you end up going with?” If they mention someone you don’t know, you could then ask, “Where do you know them from?”
  • As another example, if you could start with, “How did you contribute to the project?” Once they answer, you might ask, “What was the biggest challenge you had?” After that, you could ask, “What did you do to overcome the challenge and complete your task?”
From the CEO

How to ask a question intelligently

Scott Baradell

No one likes to ask a question and sound dumb.

Well, almost no one.

Longtime Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones once confessed that he was most successful early in his tenure “when I didn’t mind sounding stupid” asking questions. A Pulitzer Prize-winning editor from my newspaper days advised his junior reporters to take pride in asking simple but essential “Dumb Guy Questions.”

But what about the rest of us who aren’t billionaires or big-shot journalists? How can we ask “dumb” questions without sounding dumb?

A B2B tech PR agency like Idea Grove, focusing on sectors like cybersecurity, martech, retail tech and e-commerce marketing, has an untold number of meetings with client SMEs (“subject-matter experts”) who clearly know more about their businesses than we do. But we are often expected to know quite a bit, even when the subject matter is a bit arcane.

I’m reminded of a line in an article on technology public relations strategy written by a friend, when the client asks the following:

“We are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of polymer-based rectifier diodes. How do we get better coverage in the media?”

Um, good question.

So, how can we ask dumb questions — about polymer-based rectifier diodes and everything else — and still escape with our dignity intact?

Needless to say, it helps to come prepared, such as by having a list of specific questions to ask an SME on a given topic. Regardless, dumb happens.

Here are 10 rules to query by:

1. Never concede dumbness.

How to ask a question intelligently

Want to turn people against you before you’ve even asked your question? Then concede your “dumbness.”

All too often, questions get prefaced by qualifiers like, “I know this is a dumb question, but ….”

Don’t do it. You’re just asking for a dismissive response, or worse, the lingering impression that you may be dumb.

2. Don’t admit ignorance of buzzwords.

When we ask for an explanation “in layman’s terms,” we convey that we may not understand the language others use to communicate.

It doesn’t matter at the moment if you don’t know BPO from EPO or RAM from SPAM as long as you don’t announce it to everyone in the room. You can look it up later.

3. Show what you do know.

Some level of unfamiliarity with a topic like accounts receivables processing is understandable. Few of us spend a lot of time pondering its mysteries, right?

But in asking questions about a topic with which you are largely unfamiliar, you should demonstrate that you’ve done your homework.

“In preparing for our talk today, I saw …” is a great lead-in to a question — provided its true.

So is “I’ve read that ….”

If nothing else, at least show you’ve been paying attention with something like, “I heard you say …” before asking your next question.

4. Get clarity through detail.

Don’t understand what someone is saying? Ask for details that clarify.

“You say margins in offshore deepwater E&P are being squeezed. Could you tell me what you see as the biggest drivers for that?”

“Could you walk me through how a situation like this develops?”

“So when a situation like this develops, what’s the initial reaction?”

If you’re out of ideas and need a question, there’s always, “Could you give me an example?”

5. Ask more open-ended questions.

How to ask a question intelligently

You can also gather a lot of useful detail, without knowing many details yourself, by asking open-ended questions that encourage a longer answer.

“What do you think about … ?” is a good one.

So is, “What do you see as the reasons for that?”

6. Seek out supporting opinions.

If you don’t understand the way someone explains a topic, perhaps you will understand someone else.

Find that second voice with a question such as, “Have you or someone else there written on this topic before?

Or “Have you seen any articles in the trade media that you think make this point especially well?”

7. Keep the focus on the project.

Everyone’s goal in collaboration is a complete, accurate and effective piece of work. So don’t make it about the people in the room, make it about the work product such as a piece of written content.

Ask something like, “For the benefit of those who might be new to this idea, could you suggest how I could walk them through it?”

And instead of asking for an example for yourself, invoke the work by asking, “Could you give me an example I could use?”

8. Ask for feedback (if you must).

Asking for feedback is a double-edged sword in that you can be found to be right or wrong. Instead of making it an either/or proposition, make it about advice.

Say something like, “So in framing this argument, I could say … . Does that sound like a good approach to you?”

Or, “The three factors you listed as causes for this situation are …. Have I got that right?”

It’s not always a good idea to ask for feedback, but if you must, do so in a way that elicits advice or details. Both can help clarify.

9. Ask what you’ve failed to ask.

I end most all my client interviews with a question that gives them a chance to discuss something that has been on their minds but hasn’t yet come up in conversation.

But don’t make it about you (“What haven’t I asked that I should ask?”).

Instead continue to focus on the work product by asking, “What should we cover that we haven’t yet?”

10. Save the truly dumb for later.

How to ask a question intelligently

Sometimes it pays not to say anything at all. Very often that’s when you know a question is so basic that merely asking it will diminish you in the minds of your audience.

So, research that question, learn how to ask it more intelligently, and do so in a follow-up call or email. And ask someone other than the CEO or subject matter expert.

We’ve all been saved by fellow newbies and people lower on the organizational chart who still have answers.

Get their help — later and discreetly. Someday you’ll return the favor.

How to ask a question intelligently

The League answers your questions on if and when to break social-distance rules for romance, how to get more matches, and the right way to use emojis.

Shall We Get Physical?

I’ve met a wonderful guy on The League. We talk all the time, and I can see a future with him. Because of the Coronavirus, we haven’t yet touched. We both want to get physical, and I’m more than ready! (I haven’t had romantic contact since last year.) Can we kiss, touch and be physical while also protecting our health?

I feel you, Anonymous. As Sting sang in “Message in a Bottle,” you’re not alone at being alone. Millions of men and women are tired of pandemic-imposed dating rules. These days, America’s singles are like a giant high-school class: bored, sexually frustrated, and stuck inside for what feels like eternity .

I’m glad you met a good guy. As you probably suspect, the safest option would be to continue social-distance dating until there’s an effective vaccine, or until we’ve beaten the virus, like New Zealand has. That would be the smart choice for your health and for his.

If you’re considering getting physical with a new partner, be clear-eyed about potential consequences. Kissing, petting and sex is the exact opposite of social-distancing, which means you’d be putting yourself at risk. You could be carrying the virus, and so could he.

That said, it’s unrealistic to expect that everyone will abstain. Dating already carries risks—from unwanted lewd pics to STIs to heartbreak—yet we keep seeking our soulmates. If you decide to get up close and personal with your new crush, take some important precautions to minimize the added risk. 😁

A heads up: I’m a date doctor, not a medical doctor, but here’s a common-sense checklist to look at before breaking social-distance guidelines.

Consider physical contact with a new partner only if…

  • Both of you have healthy, non-compromised immune systems.
  • You’ve both recently tested negative for COVID-19.​ Caveats: Many experts question the reliability of the tests, a​nd even accurate results only reflect your health at the moment of the test. You or your new partner could contract the virus in your doctor’s waiting room, or at the grocery store on your way home.
  • You’ve both been diligent in mask-wearing and social-distancing.
  • Neither of you are showing symptoms.
  • Confirmed cases in your home state are on the decline, and/or the number of cases is not alarmingly high.
  • Neither of you are regularly exposed to large groups.​ For example, you both work from home, as opposed to doing business in a crowded setting.

If you can tick off all of these boxes, and you see potential for a great relationship, then you may want to consider collapsing those 6 feet. Your health is important, but so is your heart.

Glamour Shots

I see very appealing women in my daily League batch, but I’m not getting many matches. It’s frustrating! What’s the likely cause?

The possible culprit? Mediocre photos, starting with your featured shot.

If your first photo doesn’t hook a woman’s interest, she likely won’t look at the rest of your profile. She’ll just move on. A lead photo that doesn’t resonate with your audience—say, an unflattering selfie or a poorly-lit shot—can crush your results.

The fix is to have a vivid, magnetic portrait as your featured photo. ​A quality portrait can be a game-changer and has the following key elements. (This goes for both men and women.)

  • The image should be crisp, clear, and bright, ideally shot in natural light.
  • Zoom in close and shoot from the waist or chest up.
  • Look at the lens; eye contact will increase the sense of connection with your audience.
  • Dress well. Wear what you would for a first date. Red works great. (To the men: No sweats, no caps, no cargo shorts—no exceptions.)
  • Smile an authentic smile. (Leave the smoldering glares to Zoolander.) A real smile activates your ​orbicularis oculi,​ the circular muscle that surrounds each eye. When you fake a grin, it looks, well, fake because you can’t independently move those eye muscles. But when genuine emotions arise, those muscles activate, your eyes twinkle, and your face lights up.
  • No shots of you holding a fish, fellas. Women don’t want to date Quint from ​Jaws​.

My advice: Get multiple portraits taken by a professional photographer and ask a couple women in your life to help you choose the best of the batch. Place the winning photo in the lead-off slot on your League profile, and watch the matches begin to roll in.

Openers

Women rarely reply to my openers, and I’m not sure why. What’s the perfect, witty opener to send after you match?

The perfect opener doesn’t exist, Martin. It’s a myth, like the Tooth Fairy and funny Adam Sandler movies. If you’re hearing crickets, you may be using boring, overused openers such as “Hello,” “How’s your day?” or any variation of “Hi.” The best openers are personalized and relevant to the other person. After you match with a woman, check out her photos and bio and look for a topic she would enjoy discussing—say, her adorable French bulldog or her love of red wine. Then ask her a question or give her a compliment that relates to that topic, keeping things light: “Allison, I see that you’re a fellow pizza addict. OK, deep-dish or thin-crust?”

Witty, clever openers are great, but they’re not required. Don’t try to be perfect. Just be authentic to you while keeping the conversation relevant to her. And have fun!

The Digits

Some guys take forever to ask for my number. What’s a good way to move things forward without being pushy?

Here’s how to make the move with charm. If he hasn’t asked you out or asked for your number after lots of back-and-forth, send this message: “So, how are you enjoying our conversation, on a scale of 1 to (999)-999-9999?” His digits will soon be headed your way.

To Emoji or Not To Emoji?

Should I use emojis when I text? Or is that not manly?

You want to be emoji-fluent. Now, women can emoji till the 🐄🐄 come home, but a man should take a less-is-more approach or else risk sounding like a tween girl. Here are six emoji rules for the gents:

1: End your first text with 😜 or 😘. In real life, winking falls somewhere between awkward and restraining order, but in emoji-land it sets a light, flirty tone.

2: Use emojis roughly every other text, and max out at two per message.

3: Only use 🍆 as a joke, never as a way to get sexual. And smiley faces are just cheesy. The exception? When drenched with irony, which makes them fun: “Well, looks like I need a root canal 😀.”

4: Puns pair well with emojis. She wants to grab drinks with you? Don’t just say yes—say “Dolphin-itely! 🐬”

5: Banish the tongue emoji. It doesn’t turn women on. It makes them think of slobber.

6: After a great first date, text her that you had a great time and would love to see her again, including two emojis that women love: 😈 + 😍. They remind her that you’re exactly what she wants: a little bit naughty and a little bit nice.

How well do you ask questions? From my experience, most managers don’t think about this issue. After all, you don’t usually find “the ability to ask questions” on any list of managerial competencies; nor is it an explicit part of the curriculum of business schools or executive education programs. But asking questions effectively is a […]

How well do you ask questions? From my experience, most managers don’t think about this issue. After all, you don’t usually find “the ability to ask questions” on any list of managerial competencies; nor is it an explicit part of the curriculum of business schools or executive education programs. But asking questions effectively is a […]

How well do you ask questions? From my experience, most managers don’t think about this issue. After all, you don’t usually find “the ability to ask questions” on any list of managerial competencies; nor is it an explicit part of the curriculum of business schools or executive education programs. But asking questions effectively is a major underlying part of a manager’s job — which suggests that it might be worth giving this skill a little more focus.

We’ve all experienced times when we’ve failed at being good questioners, perhaps without realizing it. For example, not long ago I sat in on a meeting where a project team was reviewing its progress with a senior executive sponsor. During the presentation it was clear from his body language that the executive was uncomfortable with the direction that the team was taking. As a result, without any real questioning of the team, he deferred approval of the next steps until he could have a further discussion with the team leader. When he met with the team leader later, he ripped into him for allowing the team to go off-course. Eventually the team leader was able to explain the thinking behind the plan, convinced the executive that they would indeed achieve their objectives, and was given the go-ahead to proceed. But in the meantime the team had lost its momentum (and a week of productivity), and began to focus more on pleasing the sponsor rather than doing the project in the best way.

This is not an isolated incident. Many managers don’t know how to probe the thought process of their subordinates, colleagues, and bosses — and instead make assumptions about the basis of their actions. And when those assumptions are wrong, all sorts of dysfunctional patterns can be created. In a financial services firm, for example, a major product upgrade was delayed by months because the product and IT managers had different assumptions about what was to be delivered by when, and kept blaming each other for delays. When a third party finally helped them to ask the right questions, they were able to come up with a plan that satisfied both, and quickly produced incremental revenue for the product.

There are three areas where improved “questioning” can strengthen managerial effectiveness; and it might be worth considering how you can improve your skills in each one.

First is the ability to ask questions about yourself. All of us fall into unproductive habits, sometimes unconsciously. Good managers therefore are always asking themselves and others about what they could do better or differently. Finding the right time and approach for asking these questions in a way that invites constructive and candid responses is critical.

Second is the ability to ask questions about plans and projects. The examples mentioned above both fall into this category. The challenge with questioning projects is to do so in a way that not only advances the work, but that also builds relationships and helps the people involved to learn and develop. This doesn’t mean that your questions can’t be tough and direct, but the probing needs to be in the spirit of accelerating progress, illuminating unconscious assumptions and solving problems. This is in contrast to some managers who (perhaps out of their own insecurity) ask review questions either to prove that they are the smartest one in the room, or to make someone squirm. On the other hand, many of the best managers I’ve seen have an uncanny ability to engage in Socratic dialogue that helps people reach their own conclusions about what can be done to improve a plan or project, which of course leads to much more ownership and learning.

Finally, practice asking questions about the organization. Although usually unspoken, managers have an obligation to always look for ways that the organization as a whole can function more effectively. To do this, they need to ask questions about practices, processes, and structures: Why do we do things this way? Is there a better approach? Asking these questions in a way that does not trigger defensiveness and that is seen as constructive is an important skill for managers.

Most of us never think about how to frame our questions. Giving this process some explicit thought however might not only make you a better manager; it might also help others improve their inquiry skills as well.

Have you seen good and bad examples of how to ask questions? What’s your own self-assessment? Are you asking yourself the right questions?

How to ask a question intelligently

Last Updated on October 31, 2018

In life, we often come across a lot of annoying people who have no qualms whatsoever about inquiring after sensitive things. Why not try giving funny answers to these stupid questions instead of letting them bug you? It’ll keep most of them from intruding next time!

Do you find it hard to answer annoying questions that people constantly seem to ask you? More often than not, you end up angry with yourself for not reacting the right way at the right time. Prepare yourself for a few irritating queries beforehand, and you’ll leave satisfied by putting everyone in their place!

Smart Answers To Stupid Questions

1. “So when are you gonna give us ‘good news’?”

This is a question that most women start hearing before their honeymoon is even over! Aunties, Uncles, friends and even your own parents can’t wait for you to announce an upcoming baby – almost the minute the nuptials have concluded! Here’s what you can say to make them feel awkward, and mind their own business in the future, “As soon as I figure out how. Any tips, suggestions, or favorite positions?”

2. “How much do you earn?”

Asking a person her salary is considered to be really bad manners. But there are times when you have to put up with such queries. So, how to answer this stupid question? Keep a straight face and reply, “Well, enough to hire a taxi that’ll take me far away from such questions”.

3. “Why have you put on so much weight?”

There’s hardly any woman who likes to discuss her weight gain in public. However, some annoying people can really bog you down with such questions. Giving a snappy answer to this stupid question is the best way to put a full stop to discussions. Say something like, “Oh! It’s just my prosperity showing on my body. Seems like life isn’t treating you so well.”

How to ask a question intelligently

4. “Why are you always so busy?”

You’re tired and overworked and then have to put up with these questions and the lamentations that follow. Keep your cool and come up with a witty answer that’ll end the complaint. “I didn’t know you had all the time in the world to miss me so much. I wish I was as free as you are!” is a great comeback!

5. “Are you looking older?”

You may want to run for cover than answer, but the better bet is to reply with a funny answer to the stupid question like “Old is gold! Can’t you see the shimmering aura around me? If not, maybe you need those bifocal glasses.”

6. “Why are you looking so tired?”

In spite of the fact that people know how hard you work to balance your family and work life, they keep asking this question. Don’t let them get to you, however; instead, give a naughty reply that might embarrass them. Wink and say, “Guess!”

There probably are a number of other questions that you find stupid and annoying. The next time you have to put up with such a query, get your thinking cap on and weave clever answers to the most stupid questions. It’s the best way to put your point across without directly hurting anybody!

by Samantha Bronkar

“It begs the question” is a commonly misused phrase. Here are the incorrect ways it is used, as well as the correct ways and times it can be used.

How NOT to use it begs the question”

You may have heard this phrase used to ask a question, such as

“Because we fight so often, it begs the question, is there any way for us to find consensus?”

Or, you may have heard it used to make a statement, such as

“Considering how much we disagree, it begs the question whether or not we can find consensus.”

In these sample sentences, “it begs the question” equates to “it raises the question.” Rather than using “it begs the question,” one could say, “Because we fight so often, it raises the question, is there any way for us to find consensus?” Or, “Considering how much we disagree, it raises the question whether or not we can find consensus.”

Here’s the issue: “It begs the question” cannot be used interchangeably with “it raises the question.”

What does ‘it begs the question’ mean?

“It begs the question” is used to point out the false claims or circular reasoning of an argument.

But let’s pause: False claims” is probably pretty clear, but what is circular reasoning”?

When writing papers, or just having conversations, you must know when and how an argument is valid. Circular reasoning is a common logical fallacy and occurs when the conclusion of an argument is used as the premise of the argument. In other words, the argument assumes that the conclusion—the thing one is trying to prove—has already been proven. Here is an example:

The voting age should be changed to 12 because young people should be able to vote.

This argument says that the law should be changed so young people can vote because young people should be able to vote. It does not actually prove anything about young people’s capacity to vote intelligently. Perhaps 12-year-olds should be able to vote, but the argument offers no evidence to prove that their claim—that young people should be able to vote—is valid.

Here is another example of circular reasoning:

The cat is orange because orange is the color of its fur.

This sentence uses the color of the cat’s fur to finalize the color of the cat’s fur; the conclusion is used as the evidence.

When considering your own arguments in a paper, watch out for circular reasoning!

Let’s connect this back to the original issue:

When is it begs the question” used properly?

“It begs the question” is a response to a logically circular argument. You can use “it begs the question” within a larger sentence, as in the one below:

To say that someone is a good leader because she has good leadership skills begs the question.

You don’t actually need to explain how or why it begs the question. When you say, “It [that] begs the question,” you imply that the argument you are responding to is illogical.

You can also use it as a stand-alone sentence, or as a response. Here is a sample conversation that uses “it begs the question” properly:

Person 1: I can say whatever I want, so you should let me say what I want.

Person 2: So you should be able to say whatever you want because I should let you?

Person 1: Exactly!

Person 2: That begs the question.

Despite all the confusion around this phrase, “it begs the question” is actually simple and can be used tastefully. And, if you catch someone using it incorrectly, be kind!

Samantha Bronkar is a senior on the softball team and will be participating in the England Abroad in fall 2017.

I’m interested in a statistical classification problem. Given a feature vector X, I would like to classify X as either “yes” or “no”. However, the training data will be fed in real-time based on human input. For instance, if the user sees feature vector X, the user will assign “yes” or “no” based on their expertise.

Rather than doing grid search on parameter space, I would like to more intelligently explore the parameter space based on the previously submitted data. For example, if there is a dense cluster of “no’s” in part of the parameter space, it probably doesn’t make sense to keep sampling there – it’s probably just going to be more “no’s”.

How can I go about doing this? The C4.5 algorithm seems to be up this alley, but I’m unsure if this is the way to go.

An additional subtlety is that some of the features might be specifying random data. Suppose that the first two attributes in the feature vector specify the mean and variance of a gaussian distribution. The data the user classifies could be significantly different, even if all parameters are held equal.

For example, let’s say the algorithm displays a sine wave with gaussian noise added, where the gaussian distribution is specified by the mean and variance in the feature vector. The user is asked “does this graph represent a sine wave?” Two very similar values in mean or variance could still have significantly different graphs.

Is there an algorithm designed to handle such cases?

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Nobody likes to ask a question and appear stupid. This may embarrass you and make you appear incompetent. However, in your career, you will inevitably encounter situations that require you to ask questions and take the risk of appearing stupid.

This can be anything from asking for clarification at a meeting to asking your colleague to teach you something they are expected to know or something that is easy for others. The weight of not knowing something becomes heavier the more you go up the company ladder, because the higher you are, the more people who expect you to be aware.

However, some situations will require you to ask questions like these and thus you will need to master the art of asking seemingly stupid questions without seeming stupid.

How do you ask a stupid question?

In your career, at various stages you may have to ask stupid questions. As you climb up the ladder your task becomes more difficult and your ignorance can weigh heavily on you. Even when you have real doubt, asking it can make you look stupid or stupid because you are expected to possess all the knowledge in the world. Top labels usually expect this kind of perfection. It also means that even if asking a specific question is really necessary, you must know how to frame it intelligently and excitedly. Here are some simple tips and suggestions to help you ask questions that may actually be stupid but don’t appear this way to the listener:

If you’ve ever been sitting through a job interview, chances are you’d like smart answers to the stupid questions that always seem to be asked. In an interview, this means remembering that the interviewer is likely looking for someone who can solve problems, have good interpersonal skills, and an ability to get things done with good judgment and effectiveness.

How to Ask a Stupid Question in an Interview without sounding foolish

· Covering your stupidity with knowledge in another area:

It is quite possible and human that after working together for years in a particular field, you may lack knowledge about other areas while still being the master of your primary field. This happens frequently and people still do not know how to use the knowledge they have to hide their folly or ignorance.

For example, if you have been marketing fashion clothing for several years, you may have extensive knowledge of fashion. If someone comes to an inquiry regarding pressure valve marketing, you may run into a big problem. This is because your marketing experience is in the field of fashion and you lack knowledge regarding technical things. In such a scenario, when you have to ask questions or inquiries, you might start flaunting your knowledge and experience in the field of fashion.

· Be Confident

Oftentimes people fall easily because of your looks or looks. They feel that what you look like is what you are. Hence, appearing confident can help you in most situations. A confident look is evident through clothing, grooming, gestures, tone, and attitude. Make sure all of these are perfect. Assume an upright posture and a confident tone when you speak. Don’t stutter, hesitate, or appear nervous. Maintain correct eye contact when talking to people. Eye contact is the number one way to show people that you are sure of what you’re saying even when you are obviously asking a stupid question.

Don’t bite your nails, rub your head, or do anything that appears tense or upset. Confidence is the first key to success. If you lack confidence, you cannot move forward even if you have all the right skills.

· Do not openly disclose your ignorance:

Many of us lack the correct knowledge in a particular field, yet there are a few who lack the ability to conceal their ignorance or folly. While most of us can hide our lack of knowledge, there are some who don’t really know how to do it. Showing your folly or lack of knowledge is an even greater degree of folly. When you burst into asking stupid questions you are caught being the real idiot. On every possible occasion, try to hide your clumsiness by speaking wisely and listening attentively.

· Start with what you already know

Assuming you did some prior research or clarify at least part of the answer on your own, you should now have a vague idea of ​​the specific information you are looking for. You might not be sure how to code an entire website, but you know at least your company uses PHP – so use that to frame your question. Instead of asking the programmer “Ah, what’s all this nonsense?” You can ask, “I’m vaguely familiar with PHP, but can you explain elements of the new site feature in layman’s terms?”

Even if you took a guess that turned out not quite right, you’ll still be more prepared than if you stared blankly. When you lay the groundwork with a little prior knowledge, you’ll make it easier for your goal to explain to you exactly what you need to know – while avoiding the extraneous (obvious) details that aren’t really necessary.

· Ask for feedback (if you must).

Asking for comments is a double-edged sword as you could find yourself right or wrong. Instead of making it an either / or suggestion, make it about advice.

Say something like, “So in framing this argument, I can say … does this sound like a good approach to you?” Or, “The three factors that you mentioned as reasons for this situation are …. Did you get it right?” It’s not always a good idea to ask for feedback, but if it does, do so in a way that calls for advice or details. Both can help clarify.

ALSO CHECK:

We hope you really found this article helpful. Let us know what you think at the comment box. Share to help someone get a job or make an informed decision about their career today.

We’d love to help you. To improve your chances of getting an answer, here are some tips:

Search, and research

. and keep track of what you find. Even if you don’t find a useful answer elsewhere on the site, including links to related questions that haven’t helped can help others in understanding how your question is different from the rest.

Write a title that summarizes the specific problem

The title is the first thing potential answerers will see, and if your title isn’t interesting, they won’t read the rest. So make it count:

Pretend you’re talking to a busy colleague and have to sum up your entire question in one sentence: what details can you include that will help someone identify and solve your problem? Include any error messages, key APIs, or unusual circumstances that make your question different from similar questions already on the site.

Spelling, grammar and punctuation are important! Remember, this is the first part of your question others will see – you want to make a good impression. If you’re not comfortable writing in English, ask a friend to proof-read it for you.

If you’re having trouble summarizing the problem, write the title last – sometimes writing the rest of the question first can make it easier to describe the problem.

  • Bad: C# Math Confusion
  • Good: Why does using float instead of int give me different results when all of my inputs are integers?
  • Bad: [php] session doubt
  • Good: How can I redirect users to different pages based on session data in PHP?
  • Bad: android if else problems
  • Good: Why does str == “value” evaluate to false when str is set to “value”?

Introduce the problem before you post any code

In the body of your question, start by expanding on the summary you put in the title. Explain how you encountered the problem you’re trying to solve, and any difficulties that have prevented you from solving it yourself. The first paragraph in your question is the second thing most readers will see, so make it as engaging and informative as possible.

Help others reproduce the problem

Not all questions benefit from including code, but if your problem is with code you’ve written, you should include some. But don’t just copy in your entire program! Not only is this likely to get you in trouble if you’re posting your employer’s code, it likely includes a lot of irrelevant details that readers will need to ignore when trying to reproduce the problem. Here are some guidelines:

  • Include just enough code to allow others to reproduce the problem. For help with this, read How to create a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example.
  • If it is possible to create a live example of the problem that you can link to (for example, on http://sqlfiddle.com/ or http://jsbin.com/) then do so – but also copy the code into the question itself. Not everyone can access external sites, and the links may break over time. Use Stack Snippets to make a live demo of inline JavaScript / HTML / CSS.
  • DO NOT post images of code, data, error messages, etc. – copy or type the text into the question. Please reserve the use of images for diagrams or demonstrating rendering bugs, things that are impossible to describe accurately via text. For more information please see the Meta FAQ entry Why not upload images of code/errors when asking a question?

Include all relevant tags

Try to include a tag for the language, library, and specific API your question relates to. If you start typing in the tags field, the system will suggest tags that match what you’ve typed – be sure and read the descriptions given for them to make sure they’re relevant to the question you’re asking! See also: What are tags, and how should I use them?

Proof-read before posting!

Now that you’re ready to ask your question, take a deep breath and read through it from start to finish. Pretend you’re seeing it for the first time: does it make sense? Try reproducing the problem yourself, in a fresh environment and make sure you can do so using only the information included in your question. Add any details you missed and read through it again. Now is a good time to make sure that your title still describes the problem!

Post the question and respond to feedback

After you post, leave the question open in your browser for a bit, and see if anyone comments. If you missed an obvious piece of information, be ready to respond by editing your question to include it. If someone posts an answer, be ready to try it out and provide feedback!

Look for help asking for help

In spite of all your efforts, you may find your questions poorly-received. Don’t despair! Learning to ask a good question is a worthy pursuit, and not one you’ll master overnight. Here are some additional resources that you may find useful:

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  • algorithms
  • communication
  • robots

A new algorithm lets robots ask for clarification when they’re not sure what a person wants.

“Fetching objects is an important task that we want collaborative robots to be able to do,” says Stefanie Tellex, professor of computer science at Brown University. “But it’s easy for the robot to make errors, either by misunderstanding what we want, or by being in situations where commands are ambiguous. So what we wanted to do here was come up with a way for the robot to ask a question when it’s not sure.”

Tellex’s lab had previously developed an algorithm that lets robots receive speech commands as well as information from human gestures. It’s a form of interaction that people use all the time. When we ask someone for an object, we’ll often point to it at the same time. The new research shows that when robots received both speech commands and gestures, they got better at correctly interpreting user commands.

‘I’m confused’

Still, the system isn’t perfect. It runs into problems when there are lots of very similar objects in close proximity to each other. Take the workshop table, for example. Simply asking for “a wrench” isn’t specific enough, and it might not be clear which one a person is pointing to if a number of wrenches are clustered close together.

“What we want in these situations is for the robot to be able to signal that it’s confused and ask a question rather than just fetching the wrong object,” Tellex says.

The new algorithm does that. It allows the robot to quantify how certain it is that it knows what a user wants. When its certainty is high, it will simply hand over the object as requested. When it’s not so certain, the robot makes its best guess about what the person wants, then asks for confirmation by hovering its gripper over the object and asking, “this one?”

Why we prefer to be buddies with serious robots

One of the important features of the system is that the robot doesn’t ask questions with every interaction. It asks intelligently.

“When the robot is certain, we don’t want it to ask a question because it just takes up time,” says Eric Rosen, an undergraduate working in Tellex’s lab and co-lead author of the research paper with graduate student David Whitney. “But when it is ambiguous, we want it to ask questions because mistakes can be more costly in terms of time.”

And even though the system asks only a very simple question, “it’s able to make important inferences based on the answer,” Whitney says. For example, say a user asks for a wrench and there are two wrenches on a table. If the user tells the robot that its first guess was wrong, the algorithm deduces that the other wrench must be the one that the user wants. It will then hand that one over without asking another question. Those kinds of inferences, known as implicatures, make the algorithm more efficient.

Beyond smart

To test the system, the researchers asked untrained participants to come into the lab and interact with Baxter, a popular industrial and research robot. Participants asked Baxter for objects under different conditions. The team could set the robot to never ask questions, ask a question every time, or to ask questions only when uncertain.

The trials showed that asking questions intelligently using the new algorithm was significantly better in terms of accuracy and speed compared to the other two conditions.

Watch robots avoid crashes—but not too carefully

The system worked so well, in fact, that participants thought the robot had capabilities it actually didn’t have. For the purposes of the study, the researchers used a very simple language model—one that only understood the names of objects. However, participants told the researchers they thought the robot could understand prepositional phrases like, “on the left” or “closest to me,” which it could not. They also thought the robot might be tracking their eye-gaze, which it wasn’t. All the system was doing was making smart inferences after asking a very simple question.

In future work, Tellex and her team would like to combine the algorithm with more robust speech recognition systems, which might further increase the system’s accuracy and speed.

Ultimately, Tellex says, she hopes systems like this will help robots become useful collaborators at work and around the house.

The research, which will be presented this spring at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Singapore, received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA.

Questioning in the classroom: Get students to question the questions you ask, says Chris Curtis. Photograph: Alamy

Questioning in the classroom: Get students to question the questions you ask, says Chris Curtis. Photograph: Alamy

Harry Fletcher-Wood, head of History and CPD co-ordinator at Greenwich Free School: @HFletcherWood

Using hinge Questions: I would not have believed that a major improvement in my teaching last year would have involved employing multiple choice questions. As I learned, however, multiple-choice hinge questions are a sophisticated and invaluable assessment technique to swiftly check whether the class has understood a critical point before moving on.

Crucially, the teacher designs responses to ensure student answers unambiguously demonstrate their underlying reasoning.

As a history teacher, for example, I might wish to know whether students appreciate what I mean by ‘significant.’ If I asked, ‘what is significance?’, one of the responses I would offer would be ‘achieving something which improves people’s lives’. Students frequently perceive significance to be synonymous with greatness and therefore would not deem a tyrant significant.

By designing each choice to represent a different line of reasoning, it is possible to immediately identify misunderstandings and take corrective action. If a lot of students have fallen into this trap, I may offer a brief example, or if it’s a handful of pupils, I might have individual conversations. The hinge question is a key tool in ensuring students have understood a topic before a lesson ends.

David Doherty, has worked in a variety of roles in middle and secondary schools over the last 17 years: @dockers_hoops

Be creative with your questioning: Teachers ask around 400 questions every day, which adds up to a staggering 70,000 a year. Most of these are low cognitive questions and it’s important to consider how to make these questions more effective in developing pupils’ learning.

One way is to add variety to you questioning strategies. For example, randomly select pupils – there are many apps to help with this – so the same pupils aren’t always answering questions. This also helps keep the class focused, as they don’t know who’s going to be chosen next.

Another idea is to vary the type of question you ask. Closed questions are fine when you’re testing recall, but open questions allow pupils to explore a range of possible answers. The use of the word ‘might’ in a question also achieves this, as it removes the idea that there’s a definitive right answer.

Lastly, well planned questions allow you to stretch all abilities in the class, as you can target questions at pupils based on their level. It also allows you to involve more pupils by playing volleyball with answers as you pass the responses around the room to other pupils.

Chris Curtis, English teacher and literacy co-ordinator: @Xris32

Question the questions: If you have been a teenager or have shared a house with a teenager, there is one thing you know: they question everything. Yet, we never really build this into lessons. Rarely do we get students to ask the questions. More importantly, we never get students to question the questions. Teenagers love questioning parents. Why were you late? Why didn’t you pick me up, dad?

Aim to have occasions where students question the questions. For example, the question ‘why did Shakespeare write about Othello losing control?’ could lead to the following questions: What is losing control? What is Shakespeare trying to say about losing control?

Don’t ask questions at the end of giving information: Intelligent people ask questions continually, yet the structure of lessons often revolves around learning followed by questions. Read this and answer the questions. Try to get students to ask questions throughout the learning and not at the end, where valuable opportunities are missed. Students often blank out words they don’t know when reading, when they should be asking a question.

Harry, David and Chris were all speakers at a recent edsessential Teaching and Learning Takeover.

If you’re new to the zoning process, you may not be familiar with the different components of a site plan. Asking informed, detailed questions can help you learn about the different elements of a proposed development and how it could impact your neighborhood. To help, we’ve compiled a list of common questions you can ask or topics you should consider during your meetings with the developer.

Zoning Questions by Topic:

  • Zoning Impacts
    • Variances A zoning variance can be requested by the developer to provide flexibility by allowing variations from the zoning ordinance. For example, a developer building a large mixed-use project wants to . , setbacks The distance which a building is set back from a property line, street or road, a river or stream, or any other place which is deemed to need protection. Not to be confused with a Buffer. More , lot width, transitional height planes A geometric plane that establishes the maximum permitted height of a building in a district that allows a greater density than that of an adjoining lower-density residential district. The transitional. More

    Print this List of Questions!

    Download a printable list of questions to bring along with you to meetings. This will give you a head start when learning about a zoning application.

    Important

    Remember, every neighborhood and zoning application is different and requires its own set of zoning guidelines and questioning. Some of the questions below may not be relevant to your application.

    My teacher’s teaching style isn’t working for me, and he asked for feedback about the class and how he could teach it better. He teaches with powerpoint and gives quizzes that are all about rote memorization of the slides. Most of the class finds these quizzes to be of little help in understanding the information, but nobody knows what to say to the teacher about it.

    How to ask a question intelligently

    4 Answers 4

    Basically, I agree that what xLeitix said is the gist of if: as long as you are respectful, you should be fine.

    To elaborate a little, my only experience with giving feedback back to the professor is a bit specific: a fairly young professor, that just got the course for the first time and was trying to improve it. Like in your case, he also said that he would appreciate feedback.

    I’ll try to give some specific advice, with a specific example of my situation:

    again, be very respectful

    (In my situation, this meant that I didn’t start loudly complaining in class as the reading material quality (made by the prof) steadily degraded during the year. Rather, when I found enough time, I passed by the professors office during the office hours and asked him if he would be interested in my feedback on his reading materials.)

    be as informed as you can about the coursework for which you disagree with the teaching approach

    (Basically, why would I take your advice on how to teach X if you don’t even have a rudimentary understanding of X?)

    be specific, and give argumented reasons

    (For me, this meant, when he agreed to listen to my feedback — he actually scheduled a meeting outside of his office hours for that class suspecting it will take some time — I didn’t just come and said the materials were getting worse. I had specific examples of pages and exercises that I had trouble solving, marked in the script. I also offered information like “it took me X hours to finish and understand the first script (good quality), while it took me 4*X hours to finish the second one (worse quality), and they are supposed to cover approximately the same amount of coursework”. For you, it might mean explaining how and why you don’t think the feedback you’re getting from quizzes is not helpful.)

    make specific recommendations or suggestion (but don’t demand anything)

    (Again, in my case, alongside some of the things I marked, like exercises and definitions I had trouble with, sometimes I had my own versions of definitions, or I would re-phrase the examples in a way that made it easier for me to understand. It also help pointing out the ambiguities in the original and saying why you think your formulation resolves it.)

    be committed. The bigger the change you want to make, the more committed your will need to be.

    (As you can see form the above, making a substantial change, at least according to me, will probably require you do to a substantial amount of work on your own — without the professor’s help — to be able to give suggestions well supported by arguments. Of course, you don’t have to take all the points super-seriously if you just opt for a short 5-minute chat giving some suggestions and examples.

    On the other hand, in my case, where I loved the course, I thought it was important, I thought the prof was great and trying really hard, and I had a (young and naive) wish to make a change for future generations, I took a few days to prepare my notes, I came to Uni a few days after the summer break has started in order to have time to give all my comments in as much detail as the professor wanted, and it did help that the prof actually knew and remembered me from the courses and valued my opinion at least a little.)

    Reaching out for help? Here’s the best way.

    How to ask a question intelligently

    Every day, a number of people ask me for help. Some are writers who want to land a book deal. Others are PR professionals who want me to write about their clients. Others want advice about launching a business. Or about fitness. Or how to lose weight.

    And many people, even though I don’t know them at all, want me to connect them with someone I do know.

    Almost all of those emails — and face-to-face requests — follow the same basic format.

    First they compliment me. Then they explain why they don’t just need but actually deserve my help. Then comes the “ask,” a comprehensive description of exactly what I should do for them. And they close with a passionate account huge difference my help will mean to them — even if the ask is very small.

    For fun, I ran a word count on the last 20 of those emails. The average length was 463 words.

    Guess how many I responded to.

    If you want help, here’s a better formula. Just start with four simple words.

    “Can you help me?”

    We’re adults. We’re smart, experienced, and savvy. We’ve accomplished things. We’ve earned our places in your world.

    So when we ask for help, we also tend to unconsciously add image enhancers. For example, if I need help with a presentation I might go to someone and say:

    “I’m giving the keynote at (insert huge conference name here) next week and my slides need some formatting tweaks.”

    What did I do wrong?

    The words I chose instantly framed and signaled my importance and ensured my ego was protected. Okay, I may need a little assistance with a Prezi layout, but still: I’m the one doing the keynote. I’m the big dog in this particular hunt.

    Plus I didn’t really ask for help. I stated a request. (When you’re in charge and accustomed to directing others, turning requests into directives is a really easy habit to fall into.)

    Here’s a better way.

    When you need help — no matter the kind of help you need, or the person you need it from — take the bass out of your voice, the stiffness out of your spine, and the captain out of your industry and just say, with sincerity and humility:

    “Can you help me?”

    You’re much likely to get back a “What do you need?” or “I can try” or “Sure.”

    Few people, especially face-to-face, will ever say “no,” even a stranger. Plus, “Can you help me?” speaks powerfully to our instinctive desire to be of service to other people. “Can you help me?” makes you vulnerable, which also speaks powerfully to our instinctive desire to help other people.

    Then, even though an expert like Tim Ferriss says you should be extremely specific, don’t frame your request. Don’t imply that you’re above the other person. Don’t make your request too specific. And don’t say exactly what you need.

    Instead, say what you can’t do.

    Instead of saying, “I need to add a few graphic elements to a presentation, say, “I’m awful at Prezi and a few of my slides look terrible.”

    Instead of saying, “We need to stop working on that order and put everyone on this one,” say “We absolutely have to finish this project by Friday and I have no idea how to make that happen.”

    Instead of saying, “I’m looking for Bleeker Street,” say, “I’m lost and I can’t find my hotel.”

    Ask for help that way and critical things happen:

    1. You show respect.

    Without actually saying it, you’ve said, “You know more than I do.” You’ve said, “You can do what I can’t.” You’ve said, “You have experience (or talent or knowledge) that I don’t have.”

    You’ve said, “I respect you.”

    2. You show trust.

    You’re vulnerable. You admitted to a weakness.And you’ve shown the other person that you trust them with that knowledge.

    You’ve said, “I trust you.”

    3. You show you’re willing to listen.

    Instead of saying exactly how the other person should help you, you give them the freedom to decide.

    You’ve said, “You don’t have to tell me what you think I want to hear; tell me what you think I should do.”

    By showing you respect and trust other people and by giving them the latitude to freely share their expertise or knowledge, you don’t just get the help you think you want.

    You may also get the help you really need.

    And the person you ask for help also gets something valuable. They feel respected. They feel trusted. They get to offer the kind of advice or assistance or connections they know will really help you.

    Are you guaranteed to get help if you ask for it that way? Of course not.

    But you’re a lot more likely to — and are a lot more likely to spark a connection, and then a relationship, that could someday benefit you both.

    How to ask a question intelligently

    All your hard work is paying off.

    You’ve defined your personal brand, created your resume and other career marketing materials, and otherwise prepared for job search. You’ve made networking connections and landed interviews.

    Because you conducted industry and company research early on, you know what issues and challenges the industry and your target companies are facing right now.

    You’re prepared to intelligently answer interview questions like “What do you know about our company?” and “Why do you want to work here?“.

    Are you also prepared to ASK intelligent questions, to position yourself as someone extremely interested in the organization?

    After all, the interview process is all about you and the company assessing each other for good fit. This is part of your due diligence. Now is the time to find out if this job and company are really right for you.

    Ice Breaker Interview Questions

    International coach to businesses and entrepreneurs, Chris Westfall, offered 6 icebreakers to help you connect with your interviewer, including:

    “I’m guessing you’re wondering why I’m interested in this position”

    “A question that shows that you “get it.” Here, you’re already working to solve problems for your interviewer – you’re saying what’s top of mind, and the reason why you’re here. This simple introduction leads towards your interests, passion and desire for the role. Because wanting the role might be the first step towards getting it. Sharing your interest in a way that guides your interviewer towards your strengths, motivation and values is a great place to start. If you are interviewing for a management or leadership position, this kind of icebreaker shows you know how to lead a conversation.”

    His other suggested ice breakers include:

    “Let me go beyond what you see on my résumé”
    “You’re probably curious about why I was in my last job for less than two years”
    “I’ll never forget the time when…”

    More Executive Interview Questions You Should Be Asking

    It’s okay to bring a written list with you for reference, but review your questions to ask several times in advance. If you can ask some of them without referring to your written list, you’ll come off as well-prepared.

    • What does your best-fit candidate look like?
    • Why is the position open?
    • What responsibilities in this job are really going to define success for this person?
    • What skills and qualities will be most important in this position?
    • If there’s a job description, may I see a copy of it?
    • What will my first assignment be?
    • What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
    • [If this is a short-term consulting gig] How long do you expect the project to last?
    • Any major changes coming internally that I should know about?
    • Where do you see this division/company in the next five years?
    • How can I demonstrate that I’m a good fit for this position?
    • What do you (the interviewer) like and not like about working here?
    • [As things are wrapping up] What are the next steps? I’m very interested in this position, will you consider me for further interviews? When will I hear from you? May I touch base in a week to see how things are moving along?

    Find out about the company’s mission and vision

    Included in career expert Alison Doyle’s 30 questions she suggests you ask interviewers, she offers these 3 questions, to help you assess the company’s mission and vision:

    • How would you describe this company’s values?
    • How has the company changed over the last few years?
    • What are the company’s plans for growth and development?

    And she explains another plus in asking questions:

    “Asking questions can also give you the opportunity to further highlight some of your qualities, skills, and experience, and show the employer why you’re a terrific match for the job.”

    Don’t be afraid to ask some hard questions

    Check out FlexJob’s 10 hard questions to ask your interviewer, including:

    What makes it a great day and what makes it a challenging day at work?

    Rather than a vague question about what a “typical day” may look like, this subtle yet hard-hitting question will allow you to get a much clearer picture of the highs and lows of the job.

    How is criticism and feedback handled within the team?

    Some managers and teams do a great job of handling feedback and critical discussions in a way that helps everyone grow and evolve, and some just don’t. The answer you receive from this question will help you know what to expect and whether it’s an environment you’d be well-served in.

    Do you have any hesitancy in hiring me?

    First, this gives you a chance to immediately address anything they might say, and hopefully help the interview move past whatever is making them hesitant about hiring you for the role. Second, this can give you solid information for how to improve for future interviews.

    Ask questions to learn about your interviewer

    The Muse lays out a whopping 51 interview questions you should ask, including these 5 questions to learn more about the interviewer and build rapport with them:

    • How long have you been with the company?
    • Has your role changed since you’ve been here?
    • What did you do before this?
    • Why did you come to this company?
    • What’s your favorite part about working here?

    A sociopath is a person who has a false sense of superiority over others. They believe that they are the most brilliant and smartest people in the universe.

    Sociopaths see others as objects they can use for their own benefits, a similar trait that we find with narcissists. Both of which employ manipulation to get what they want.

    In reality, they are not much smarter than an empath.

    Empaths are very much grounded and achieve things through their creativity and effort.

    Unlike empaths, sociopaths and narcissists lack creative and abstract thinking. They don’t have the ability to grasp reality properly.

    If you find yourself caught in a manipulative situation with a sociopath, you have the ability to counter manipulate them the way empaths do.

    How to spot a sociopath:

    Intelligent empaths counter manipulate a narcissist or sociopath using nonviolent strategies. They do it with ease and awareness.

    But before going to that, let’s take a look at how to spot a sociopath in a social setting.

    A sociopath’s strength lies in memorizing their knowledge. They love trivia, remember specific dates, have an advanced vocabulary or may use literary references of unknown or less known people.

    They employ these strategies to make themselves look having high levels of I.Q.

    The best way to spot a sociopath is their lack of empathy mixed with manipulative behavior, a need to control and desire to look highly intelligent.

    Whenever you meet these criteria be on high alert!

    The Intelligent Way to Counter Manipulate A Sociopath

    When the need to counter manipulate a sociopath is necessary, do the following strategy:

    1. The moment sociopaths start to show off their prowess with vocabulary, stop them in mid sentence. With a neutral facial expression, ask them what the word was.

    2. Pull your phone and ask them to spell the word for you. This time turning your gaze away from their face to your phone.

    3. If they ignore you and continue to speak, hold your finger up without looking up at them. Tell them to hold for a second and spell the word for you.

    4. This way, they will disengage because sociopaths don’t like it when they feel others are in control.

    5. Ask them further what’s the definition of the word, still without getting your eyes off your phone.

    6. If you’re lucky and they will give you a lot of answers, go to dictionary.com and choose one definition that is different from what they’re talking about.

    7. Tell them their definition is not what the word really means, still without looking at them.

    8. By this, they may change the topic or ask you a different question.

    9. When they do, continue reading your phone and tell them you find the word interesting and are going to wiki it, still not looking up.

    10. At this point, they are likely to disengage because you haven’t made an eye contact for 2 to 3 minutes.

    The above strategy, known as triangulation, is an effective tactic in getting sociopaths to disengage voluntarily. You triangulate a third person or thing to distract the abuser.

    But, beware!

    Sociopaths are vindictive beings who might do things that you might not like. They couldn’t stand to be corrected and may hate you for leveling up a dominance over them.

    If you cannot triangulate them, do as much as you can to avoid them. But if they continue on pissing you off, and there’s no other way to put a stop to their abusive behavior, then it’s time you put a barrier between you and them.

    If the person you are about to counter manipulate is known for violent behaviors, it is wise to exercise extra caution.

    Taking self-care does not have to be at your own risk.

    ∼If you like our article, give Conscious Reminder a thumbs up, and help us spread LOVE & LIGHT!∼

    Struggling to redesign your systems so that you do things better, cheaper, faster? Here are 10 questions to help you out.

    How to ask a question intelligently

    Toni owned a successful commercial insurance brokerage focusing on clients with 250-500 employees. She was the lead sales person for her firm, with a support staff to back her up. Recognizing that anything that helped give her more sales time would help her company grow, Toni instituted “Project Toni”, a dedicated company-wide effort to incrementally replace her from all renewal processes (one of the core functions of her firm and one that sucked up months of her time).

    She knew that in order to do this she would need to refine her company’s core renewal systems so that her team, working with the company systems, didn’t miss anything.

    Here are 10 questions you can use to help you redesign and upgrade your internal company systems.

    1. How can we reduce the steps in this process?
    2. How can we combine steps to make it simpler to follow?
    3. Can we repurpose an existing system or tool to save us time or give us a better result?
    4. How can we speed up this process or any step within this process?
    5. How can we automate this process (or any part of this process)?
    6. How can we semi-automate this process (or any part of this process)?
    7. How can we template this process (or any part of this process)?
    8. How can we lower the costs of doing this process without impacting the value of the output?
    9. What simple changes or improvements can we make to increase the value of the output?
    10. Who else in the world has a related process or tool we can learn from to help us better design this process?

    Also, to help you grow your business and get your life back, we just put the finishing touches on a powerful free toolkit which includes 21 in-depth video trainings on how to intelligently scale your company. To access this free toolkit click here . Enjoy.

    Ryan Taylor

    Nov 19, 2019

    How to ask a question intelligently

    Rev › Blog › How-to Guides › How to End an Interview – Questions to Ask & Tips for Ending

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    How to ask a question intelligently

    They say there is nothing more nerve-wracking than the all important interview. Yes, public speaking is up there. Along with going to the dentist. But as many will tell you, sitting down and conducting an interview – regardless of the reasons for it – can be very scary and difficult to navigate without a steady plan and solid approach.

    So, whether you’re at a job interview, writing an article or shooting a documentary, let’s take a look at one of the most overlooked parts of the interview process: the ending.

    1. End Where You Started

    Like any good movie or story, at the end of an interview you want to find a way back to where you started. It’s helpful as a way to bring things home, so to speak. But it’s also a pragmatic way to make sure everything has been addressed and that the interview has ended up where it needed to be.

    Plus, for many, the beginnings of interviews are often the most awkward and unfocused as it takes some time for people to warm up and talk intelligently. So, once all the pleasantries are out of the way and the interview has found its own pace, it can be very helpful to readdress where you started again at the end.

    A good ending question to ask (regardless of your role in the interview) can often be: “At the beginning we discussed these things, do you feel that they’ve been covered now?”

    2. Restate Your Key Points

    Preparing for an interview can be tricky for several reasons. The most obvious is that you can only control so much of an interview by yourself. The rest is up to someone else and you don’t always know what they will talk about. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan and prepare as much as possible.

    A good way to prepare is to make a list of key points, questions or answers which you’d like to go over. You can always change these on the fly, but having those written out and practiced will give you solid groundwork to build on.

    At the end of your interview, if you’ve been able to state your points in the interview, it can be doubly helpful to mention those points again as a way to remind the other person and make sure they’re remembered.

    3. Record and Transcribe Your Interview

    Whether you’re the interviewer or the interviewee, transcribing an interview after finishing is a great way to re-evaluate the key topics of the interview. It also gives you the ability to search the transcript text of your interview and quickly find important sections of the recording you’d like to revisit.

    Rev.com offers a free call recorder for phone interviews, and a voice recorder app and online browser-based voice recorder for in-person interviews. You can quickly order a transcription through the apps once recording it complete, or you can upload your recording file to https://www.rev.com/checkout/transcriptionfiles .

    Always remember to get full consent from the other party when you’re recording an interview. This can be done by simply asking if it’s okay to record the interview, so that you can go over the recording later.

    4. Show that You Listened

    They say that the best people at both interviews and conversation in general are those who are good listeners. While a great deal of what makes a good listener comes down to eye contact, facial expressions and body language, it also has to do with – you know – actually listening.

    If you can, while you listen to what the other person has to say, try to take notes either by writing them down if appropriate, or in your head. At the end of the interview, do your best to bring up as many of the points mentioned as possible not just to show that you listened, but also to make sure your own understanding of what was said is accurate.

    5. Clearly Define What Happens Next

    For those in the business world, interviews and meetings are often defined in terms of ROI (return on investment). An interview is a means to a next step, and anything else can be considered a waste of time. You don’t want to be costing people time and money. So it’s always important to define expectations early and often – and especially at the end.

    When wrapping up an interview, if the other person doesn’t take the lead on it, make sure to clearly define what happens next. Whether that’s a follow up interview, an email, or the sending over of files or whatever. Even if the interview appears to be your last contact with someone, having that defined will help you both move one.

    6. Always Leave a Good Impression

    Finally, when ending any interview you want to be leaving a good impression. If you give a compliment, be warm, be open and be sure to smile people will like you more – it’s science !

    Sometimes just doing these little things can turn just a regular interview into something more special and meaningful to you both. And if you truly want the best results from your interviews, you absolutely want to make sure you leave it with the best impression possible.

    Expert physicians and cancer patients agree that getting a second opinion is crucial, even if you are very pleased with your primary medical team. It is your health and your life; take care of yourself!

    A second opinion will help you learn more about your illness and treatment options. What you learn also will help you communicate intelligently with your medical team to get the best, most personalized care.

    But doctor appointments can be scary, overwhelming and intimidating. There is the possibility of bad news and the apprehension of receiving confusing an difficult-to-understand information. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your second opinion appointment.

    Prepare in advance

    Plan to take a trusted friend or family member with you

    This is critical. Memory retention is only 10% and less when you are stressed. You will not remember everything that is said during the appointment. You need to have someone there with you to be ‘another set of eyes and ears’. Then you can discuss key points with this other person to make sure you both heard the same information, go over options, and, if appropriate, ask for their input and opinion,

    Record the conversation

    Ask the doctor if you can record the conversation. Pull out your smartphone and record it! Then you can play it back at your leisure and discuss it with your family and the person who accompanied you to the appointment. You can then go over key issues, play back critical discussions and not miss anything!

    By the way, many expert physicians have endorsed the idea of recording the discussion at a doctor appointment so don’t be afraid to ask!

    Think of questions to ask and write them down ahead of time

    No one thinks and speaks at the same time and does it effectively. And stress adds to the mix. So plan ahead and write your questions down to prepare yourself for the appointment. For example:

    • Confirmation of diagnosis
    • What are the next steps?
    • Am I eligible for a clinical trial?
    • What are my treatment options and does the second opinion doctor agree with the original treatment options?
    • What are the side effects of the treatment options?

    If a clinical trial is advisable, you can ask these questions:

    • What is the purpose of the study?
    • Who is sponsoring the study, and who has reviewed and approved it?
    • What kinds of tests, medicines, surgery, or devices are involved? Are any procedures painful?
    • What are the possible risks, side effects, and benefits of taking part in the study?
    • How might this trial affect my daily life? Will I have to be in the hospital?
    • How long will the trial last?
    • Who will pay for the tests and treatments I receive?
    • Will I be reimbursed for other expenses (for example, travel and child care)?
    • Who will be in charge of my care?
    • What will happen after the trial?

    Bottom line: You do not need to become a medical expert in your disease. By following the guidelines above, you can become more knowledgeable to make informed decisions about your path to improved health and quality of life.

    In the digital age of creating a better building and facilities management team, a difference has grown between creating smart buildings and truly intelligent facilities management strategies. These strategies differ by being intuitive versus smart and self-managed versus manual activities. If you are not sure about your facility’s use of smart or intelligent facilities management practices, you need to ask yourself these questions.

    “Are You Using the Internet of Things for Intelligent Facilities Management?”

    The Internet of Things (IoT) has become commonplace in today’s facilities management conversations but is your operation actively using it. Have you installed sensors throughout your distributed portfolio? Are all HVAC units, lighting systems, electrical outlets, security systems and controls automated, using the IoT? Can you make adjustments to these systems remotely and in real-time?

    These questions reflect how the IoT is used to create a smart building, but to be intelligent, the information relayed from IoT-enabled devices should be programmed to adjust controls or settings automatically, assets Kurt Karnatz, Robert Knight, and Rick Szcodronski of FacilitiesNet. Also, the system should learn from itself, resulting in less physical work for facilities management professionals.

    “Are Work Orders Handled Using Technology and Automated Systems?”

    As explained by Abigail Gray of FacilitiesNet, automation, and self-reporting of systems is key to understanding today’s intelligent facilities management operations. Most buildings use intelligent systems and have the capacity to automate systems and controls but to be truly intelligent, the system should be intuitive, submitting reports automatically, notifying facility managers and maintenance professionals of potential issues and documenting all activities.

    “What Type of Maintenance Program Is in Place—Proactive, Preventative Maintenance or a Reactive-Only Maintenance Program?”

    This question is the natural successor to how your operation handles work orders. If you have a backlog of work orders, chances are good you are using a reactive maintenance program. Even if you have automated reporting of malfunctions, can your system identify equipment before it fails? Also, can your system prioritize maintenance tasks to eliminate the backlog of work, while reducing operating costs associated with deferred maintenance?

    For example, HPAC Engineering cites the use of the IoT to analyze energy-consumption rates and efficiency of HVAC systems to “anticipate problems and make necessary adjustments to avoid failures.” Necessary adjustments might include adjusting thermostat controls for units overworking due to increased traffic near the entrance of your facility.

    “Does Your Organization Use Cloud-Based Software in Facilities Management Operations?”

    Using the IoT and automated, intuitive control is an excellent start to implementing intelligent facility management processes, but where is the information stored? If you are still using internal servers and resources exclusively, you are falling behind. Plus, your system could be seriously outdated, using older software and algorithms. However, cloud-based software stays updated around-the-clock, and the information is stored off-site and with advanced security protocols in place, often via third-party smart building solution companies. This dramatically reduces risk and ensures the integrity of your IoT-enabled, automated systems.

    “Does Your Facilities Management Program Actively Reduce Costs, and Is It Scalable?“

    Building automation systems can be scalable, provided new systems are integrated with your existing system correctly. An intelligent building system must allow for integration with newer sensors and components, and it should continue to actively reduce costs associated with new construction, retrofits or other issues arising during periods of growth.

    Transform Your Operation Into a Fine-Tuned, Cost-Saving Machine With Intelligent Facilities Management Systems and Technologies Now

    These questions highlight the possibilities through cloud-computing technology and advanced, intelligent facilities management systems, and according to Casey Talon of RealComm, the level of sophistication in intelligent facilities management will continue to grow. For facility managers still working with manual processes and pen-and-paper tracking methods, the level of IT knowledge needed to transition to the newer breed of intelligent facilities management systems will be insurmountable at best.

    Fortunately, facilities managers can work toward intelligent operations by implementing strong, smart building systems and relying on the expertise of proven system vendors and account management service providers, like ENTOUCH. Fill out this online contact form to find out how ENTOUCH can help you achieve your intelligent facility management goals today.

    How to ask a question intelligently

    You’re the boss. It’s your job to support and challenge your team, so that together, you can achieve the results you need.

    To do that effectively, however, you need to know if you are supporting and challenging your staff in the right ways—or if, despite your good intentions, you’re holding them back. You need to know what you do well, so you can build on it, and you need to understand your weaknesses, so you can correct them. In short, you need feedback.

    Traditionally, businesses have relied on exit interviews to gain insight into a manager’s effectiveness. But what good does it do to figure out how an employee feels about his boss as he’s sauntering out the door to greener pastures? While it’s not too late for the manager to learn from the information, it’s too late to use it in a very meaningful way.

    So how do you move away from the one-time, archaic exit interview and into real-time feedback? Here are a few ideas.

    1. Show Interest

    The best way to get candid feedback from your team is to create a culture of open and honest communication.

    To do this, start by showing a genuine interest in how your people are doing, what’s causing them problems, and how you can help. Ask questions that will help you gauge how your employees feel about their environment, workload, and productivity.

    For example, when inquiring about an employee’s assignment, you might ask:

    • How is your project coming along?
    • What’s going well?
    • What’s stopping you from reaching this goal?
    • What do you need in order to reach your goal?
    • Think of a time you’ve been highly productive: What factors influenced this productivity? What factors get in the way of it?

    This will help you determine when and where you need to offer more support and when you might need to back off.

    You can also throw in questions specifically about you and your performance, as long as you don’t come across as an egomaniac or, conversely, someone who needs constant reassurance. Instead, you want to ask these questions in a way that encourages dialogue, such as:

    • How can I help?
    • What could I have done better to support you?
    • What do you need from me?
    • How can I best support you on this project?
    • What can I do differently next time that will be more helpful?

    2. Pay Attention to Non-Verbals

    Look around the room when you speak to your team. Do you see downcast eyes? Averted gazes? Tight faces? At times, such reactions may be appropriate—like if you announce bad news, or if an employee really messed up and you call her out on it. However, if you regularly see body language or non-verbal reactions that convey distrust or frustration, you may have a problem on your hands, and you should take the time to dig a little deeper.

    Again, you need to ask meaningful questions at the right time. For instance, you might approach an employee individually and note, “I noticed tension when I announced the new project assignments. I was obviously hoping for a different reaction. Maybe I missed something in planning for this project. Can you tell me a little bit about what’s going on?”

    This lets your employee know you’re aware of his frustration and provides him an opportunity to enlighten you. Whether you believe your employee’s frustrations are warranted or not, it’s better to know why discontent is breeding than to dismiss or misunderstand it. You can’t adequately address something you don’t understand.

    3. Ask for Feedback From Others

    You want to know how you’re doing as a manager? Take a deep breath and ask some of your contacts within the company for their insights. If you’re really brave, you can even ask what they hear about you.

    A helpful starting point is to ask your own supervisor about his or her observations of your management style. You can also ask your colleagues who are also managers about their own styles, which can open the door to a discussion about the way you manage your team and any feedback they may have for you.

    Do you have a trusted friend or mentor in the company? Let her know your interest in strengthening your leadership style, and ask if she has heard feedback that she would be willing to share (without disclosing the sources, of course).

    Now that you know how to get the information, it’s equally important to consider how you respond—which brings me to:

    4. Avoid Defensiveness

    This one may seem obvious, but I hear stories about managers’ defensive reactions to their employees all the time. However, one poor response can shut down all your efforts to build rapport and get feedback. For example, if an employee shares with you her disappointment that a colleague’s part of a project isn’t coming along as planned, you might be tempted to shut her down with a sharp, “Well, there are things going on behind the scenes that you don’t know.”

    A more productive response would be, “I get what you’re saying. Our CEO made some last-minute changes that were out of Sarah’s control, and she’s working diligently to complete her responsibilities. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t updated the rest of you about the situation. I’ll call a meeting this afternoon to make sure everyone is up to speed. We can look at our overall timeline together and address any other issues.”

    When an employee tells you something that makes you think, “Wait, she doesn’t know anything about this situation,” just clamp your lips shut for a minute. Breathe. Think. Yes, as the boss, you have a high-level perspective on many things that your subordinates don’t have. But they have a perspective you don’t have. Your employee just trusted you enough to tell you her perspective. Listen. Turn the feedback over in your mind. Then respond.

    5. Own Your Mistakes

    The most effective thing you can do to endear your employees to you and gain their trust is to be genuine with them. That includes admitting to your shortcomings and saying “I’m sorry” if an apology is warranted. Being honest about the ways you can encourage your employees to communicate more openly.

    Once you do this, you’ll find that your employees will be more likely to tell you when they need your support instead of resenting you when they don’t get it. They’ll more often come to you with an issue before it escalates into a major problem that can cause resentment and anger. They’ll be more likely to tell you when they’re upset about something—before “upset” evolves into “enraged.”

    Remember what it was like to work for someone you didn’t like? If you don’t want to be that person, you need to actively build a team culture that allows you to receive real-time feedback from your employees, so you can fix what needs fixing before you drive people away. Or, you know, you can just wait for the feedback from those exit interviews.

    How to ask a question intelligently

    How to ask a question intelligently

    How to ask a question intelligently

    A new algorithm lets robots ask for clarification when they’re not sure what a person wants.

    “Fetching objects is an important task that we want collaborative robots to be able to do,” says Stefanie Tellex, professor of computer science at Brown University. “But it’s easy for the robot to make errors, either by misunderstanding what we want, or by being in situations where commands are ambiguous. So what we wanted to do here was come up with a way for the robot to ask a question when it’s not sure.”

    How to ask a question intelligently

    Tellex’s lab had previously developed an algorithm that lets robots receive speech commands as well as information from human gestures. It’s a form of interaction that people use all the time. When we ask someone for an object, we’ll often point to it at the same time. The new research shows that when robots received both speech commands and gestures, they got better at correctly interpreting user commands.

    ‘I’m confused’

    Still, the system isn’t perfect. It runs into problems when there are lots of very similar objects in close proximity to each other. Take the workshop table, for example. Simply asking for “a wrench” isn’t specific enough, and it might not be clear which one a person is pointing to if a number of wrenches are clustered close together.

    “What we want in these situations is for the robot to be able to signal that it’s confused and ask a question rather than just fetching the wrong object,” Tellex says.

    The new algorithm does that. It allows the robot to quantify how certain it is that it knows what a user wants. When its certainty is high, it will simply hand over the object as requested. When it’s not so certain, the robot makes its best guess about what the person wants, then asks for confirmation by hovering its gripper over the object and asking, “this one?”

    One of the important features of the system is that the robot doesn’t ask questions with every interaction. It asks intelligently.

    “When the robot is certain, we don’t want it to ask a question because it just takes up time,” says Eric Rosen, an undergraduate working in Tellex’s lab and co-lead author of the research paper with graduate student David Whitney. “But when it is ambiguous, we want it to ask questions because mistakes can be more costly in terms of time.”

    And even though the system asks only a very simple question, “it’s able to make important inferences based on the answer,” Whitney says. For example, say a user asks for a wrench and there are two wrenches on a table. If the user tells the robot that its first guess was wrong, the algorithm deduces that the other wrench must be the one that the user wants. It will then hand that one over without asking another question. Those kinds of inferences, known as implicatures, make the algorithm more efficient.

    Beyond smart

    To test the system, the researchers asked untrained participants to come into the lab and interact with Baxter, a popular industrial and research robot. Participants asked Baxter for objects under different conditions. The team could set the robot to never ask questions, ask a question every time, or to ask questions only when uncertain.

    The trials showed that asking questions intelligently using the new algorithm was significantly better in terms of accuracy and speed compared to the other two conditions.

    The system worked so well, in fact, that participants thought the robot had capabilities it actually didn’t have. For the purposes of the study, the researchers used a very simple language model—one that only understood the names of objects. However, participants told the researchers they thought the robot could understand prepositional phrases like, “on the left” or “closest to me,” which it could not. They also thought the robot might be tracking their eye-gaze, which it wasn’t. All the system was doing was making smart inferences after asking a very simple question.

    In future work, Tellex and her team would like to combine the algorithm with more robust speech recognition systems, which might further increase the system’s accuracy and speed.

    Ultimately, Tellex says, she hopes systems like this will help robots become useful collaborators at work and around the house.

    The research, which will be presented this spring at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Singapore, received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA.

    Have you ever asked yourself questions about listening such as “How well do I listen?” Or, “am I a really good listener?” Or, “why am I a terrible listener?” Just asking yourself such questions can actually help you improve your ability to listen. Why? Because the moment you ask yourself such questions you become aware. With awareness you will naturally begin to observe yourself. And it is only when we are aware enough to observe our behavior and thought process in anything that we can make a choice to do it better. Questions about listening are helpful to reflect on to help you become a better listener.

    Yet the ultimate test of how well we listen has nothing to do with us and our experience at all. The true test of effective listening is whether the person who is speaking actually feels heard and valued for what they said. Heard means that we actually got what the person intended to communicate, not what we think we heard them say. Valued is about leaving a speaker feeling like they matter. Great listeners know it is not just about the words. Listening is all about creating relationship.

    Examples of Questions About Listening

    How to ask a question intelligently

    So if you want to know how well you are doing, try asking the people you are communicating with on a regular basis for feedback. Start by letting people know you want to get better at listening. Here are a few suggested questions about listening to get you started in a feedback conversation:

    • When we talk do you feel like I actually hear and understand what you are saying?
    • What do I do that has you know I am listening and actually heard you? What do I do that leads you to believe I am not really listening?
    • What have you been saying that you don’t think I have been able to hear?

    Don’t let these questions about listening limit you though. Create questions of your own. But do take the time to ask questions and listen closely to the answers. Remember that your intent is to learn. There is no need to defend yourself. None of us are perfect at listening. If someone triggers one of your hot buttons you just learned something important about where you can go to work. It also means they trust you enough to tell you like it is which is a really good sign about the strength of your relationship.

    Make Listening an Valuable Habit

    Listening fully is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another person. It also happens to improve our relationships and our results! So have fun reaping the rewards of your heightened awareness this week. You never know what you might hear that can make a difference for the future.

    What are your new questions about listening? Let us know what you learn and discover this week.

    Answer: Perhaps your parent or loved one might enjoy answering these questions:

    1. What were the best bits you remember of your life?
    2. What were your proudest moments?
    3. Is there any unfinished business or messages to pass on to others?
    4. Find lots of photos of her or him, especially old photos, go through them together and ask, “Which are your favourite photos,and why?” Ask lots of questons about what’s happening in the photos.
    5. Is there any advice you’d like to give me?
    6. What were the happiest moments of your life?
    7. What are some of the funniest moments of your life?
    8. Is there any experience you regret not having?What are some of the most embarrassing moments?
    9. How did you and Dad (or Mum or loved one’s spouse), meet?
    10. Why did your parents give you your name?
    11. Who were your best friends in school?
    12. What was your Mum like when you were growing up? What sort of things did you fight about?
    13. What was your Dad like? What sort of things did you fight about?
    14. When did you have your first kiss? Who was it with? Did you like it?
    15. What was your favourite pet when you were a child?
    16. What were you like as a child? How were you different from how you are now?
    17. What did you get into trouble for when you were a child?
    18. What is your favourite food memory when growing up?
    19. What was your favourite toy?
    20. What was your favourite game?

    These questions come from questions mentioned in these two articles:

    PS: Here is a very nice article:

    It included this wise message:

    Dying people want to hear four very specific messages from their loved ones, says palliative-care physician Ira Byock, author of The Four Things That Matter Most:

    “Please forgive me.”
    “I forgive you.”
    “Thank you.”
    “I love you.”

    Ask yourself: “Is there anything critically important that would be left unsaid in our relationship if either of us died today?” says Byock, who’s also director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.

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