There Are No Wrong Questions, Seriously

Our culture is a little too hard on itself. Everyone always feels like they're compelled to know the answer to every question automatically and there is little emphasis on humility and the importance of a learning curve. Socrates once said, "I know one thing, I know nothing." 

If you've ever been at school, in a lecture, at a seminar, or in a meeting and raised your hand to answer a question and then quickly backed it up with an apology, you're doing the whole room a disservice. 

_I know one thing_ that I know nothing_..png

In a recent article written for Fast Company by Art Markman, Markman argues that by apologizing for your question, you inhibit the collective intelligence present in the room. In addition to this, it also seals up any faultiness by making the question or hypotheses seem fool-proof and not open to flaws.

By making the assumption that the creative or scientific idea is perfect as is, you risk losing out on inquiring about other factors that might come into play, thus making the hypothetical situation somewhat incomplete. Not only that but by shooting down the ability to question the hypotheses, you shoot down what is called a "goal contagion".

A goal contagion is when people work together to achieve the same goal--this goes back to the collective intelligence theory. If one person assumes their question is stupid, the entire group suffers from doubts and that doesn't do anyone any good. So be brave when it comes to owning up to what you don't know, you might just open up the world to a new idea.