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Chapter 14. Succeeding in a New Job or A... > Tip 3: Ask Questions, but Learn to A...

Tip 3: Ask Questions, but Learn to Ask the Right Ones

Fear of being considered inadequate is the reason most people in a new work situation do not ask more questions. A genuine concern about making mistakes in a new position is understandable, but it is better to ask ques-tions than to suffer the serious results of continued mistakes. If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do. Asking questions may be necessary because those responsible for your adjustment and training do not always take enough time to explain things fully. Because old hands tend to forget that they, too, had trouble learning at the beginning, they often talk so fast that only a genius or a psychic could get the message the first time around.

There is a right time and a wrong time to ask a question. One should not, for example, interrupt a person who is concentrating on getting a job done or who is communicating with others. There are also right and wrong questions. A right question is one you need to ask to be effective; a wrong question is one that does not apply to the task being explained. One should not, for example, ask questions that are answered in the orientation literature you have been given to read on your own time.


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