No Question Poker is when a learning opportunity is missed because someone doesn’t want to “look stupid” by asking a question. So he bluffs and pretends to understand what he truly doesn’t fully comprehend. Thus, instead of “looking stupid” he does a stupid thing——stays silent and stays stupid! Pretty stupid, right?
No Question Poker is a common technique between teachers and students at all levels of schooling and continues on into interactions between employees and supervisors. The wise instructor takes the initiative and proactively asks questions that probe for holes in comprehension. The students quickly learn that it is better to ask questions than to be asked.
Smart people know that no boss, no teacher expects to be perfectly understood all the time. Most appreciate questions that demonstrate a sincere desire to understand and learn.
When in Doubt, Ask One: If you don’t know what you don’t know, “Ask One,” meaning begin by asking one question. Just one. One question is all it takes to break the ice. Follow-up questions will flow. The willingness to take the plunge and break the mold will yield bountiful rewards. People will respect you for having the courage to take the initiative and they will remember your boldness. Asking questions marks you as a person who wants to learn, to improve, to grow.
“If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” – W. Edwards Deming, American expert on quality, business efficiency, and systems; 1900—1993
“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” — Francis Bacon, philosopher; 1561—1626
“Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.” – ee cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings), poet; 1894—1962