Friday, June 28, 2019

Asking Questions

Asking Questions

Someone was annoyed when I asked a question about a picture of them posted in a Facebook group.  I never met the person, I was just asking a question.  We recently witnessed some presidential debates.  One of the male candidates was not wearing a tie.  This was a formal on TV event. Shouldn’t one question be why he wasn’t wearing a tie?  If someone who wants a job, shouldn’t they look the role in a televised event?  Shouldn’t they look the role in public? If you are applying for a job, a leadership role or anything that requires your undivided attention shouldn’t your formal portrait say, “I want the job?”  I am not talking about unposed or candid shots showing you at work.

Asking questions is part of the DNA of a good educator.  Educators do not give students all the answers.  Lecturing while efficient to transfer knowledge, is not the best way to encourage student to think and innovate.  Sometimes the hardest part of research is figuring out the correct questions.  I am doing research on the best business practices of an organization and after two months, I still can’t figure out the questions.  I know the goal, but I can’t figure out the journey.

When I study Talmud, halacha or law, asking and questions of the most minute part of the details is part of the learning process.  A halacha may be learned from a single phrase of the Bible or statement for a Talmudical rabbi.
A student who comes into the library and asks, “May I have a book?” is not asking a question that will give the answer they need.  Of course, one needs to query him for more information.  Some of the questions the librarian or educator asks may make the requestor uncomfortable.  If one is going to a physician or hospital one will be asked questions about their health, medical history, medications, etc. to make sure the of the diagnosis or treatment. We are not mind readers. When someone coming in the library and needs help I need to ask questions to figure out the best way to help them.

Here are two pictures.  Make up a story about who they are and include reasons why one would be more likely to listen to you and the other more likely to be distracted and pay partial attention.  Which pose would be appropriate for the following jobs – social worker, executive assistant, accountant, sales representative, psychologist, elementary school teacher, college professor, executive secretary, professional colleague, candidate for mayor, diplomat, heating/air conditioner repair expert, etc.  Do you get the point?  These women could be actresses in a role, but your impression without context is what is important.  An advertiser would carefully choose a picture so that the reader will ask the right questions.


If you are trying to make an impression based on a picture, consider the questions the viewer will have.  Do you really want to give the wrong impression?