Asking questions can be very daunting on any occasion. Whether you’re in a new role, on a course, at an event or travelling in a different country. Working up the courage can be scary, especially for an introvert like me who has feared social interaction for most of my life and who is scared of asking a stupid question.
However, I have found that life is so much easier when you ask. Instead of struggling for ages to find the answer, someone else can save you the time and the needless effort you spent scouring the internet or wandering around in circles.
Within my role, I’ve had quite a few requests where I literally have been clueless. In particular, as I work within a bank (with no previous bank or financial institution experience) many of the terms were new to me (still are). This meant that I had to search for what the term meant and then figure out how to find the information and/or data associated with it.
I have also had requests where I have had to fill out a form in order to get information, but have not known which form to fill out and what information to put in; or provide a specific type of information on a company where I haven’t been given the full name or jurisdiction or which document would be able to provide the information needed.
I know that if I had struggled in silence, I would have frequently provided and requested the wrong information, which would have wasted a lot of time and money. Thus asking the questions that need to be asked has become a necessary part of my role and has become easier to do in life.
So, I regularly talk to my account relationship managers, use the chat feature provided by some subscriptions, fill out contact forms on websites and email contacts, asking the question. In addition, I go back to my clients asking for confirmation on the details of their request and my manager is always there when I need her.
The great thing about asking questions is that it doesn’t only help with the current request or predicament, but also provides you with information you can use in the future. It helps you increase your knowledge in different areas that you can then pass on to others.
However, I can’t just ask the question and then think that I’ll remember the answer for next time. I forget almost everything if only told to me once. And when I am constantly working on a variety of different requests at one time, it is easy for things to slip my mind.
So, from the beginning, I wrote things down – well typed up everything into an Excel Spreadsheet (I really love Excel). This included the different types of requests I get as well as where to look and the other terms people use when asking for that information. I can then always go back and refer to the ‘guide’ if I ever am unsure, but know that I’ve had a similar request in the past.
So, never be afraid to ask questions, you will always gain something from it. And never forget to write things down, you won’t remember everything.