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The Power of Asking: Why Clear Communication Matters in Business and Relationships

October 23, 2023

Introduction: When a Question Changes Everything

There are moments in our professional and personal journeys where a simple question can make all the difference. During my corporate life, I found myself in one such moment. Discussions unfolded in a high-stakes meeting with my peers and upper management at a new company, and an acronym—RTP—kept coming up. Though everyone else nodded as if they understood, I was unfamiliar with the term.


The “Uncomfortable” Question

At first, I considered staying silent; I was the new kid on the block. But then it struck me: “If I don’t understand what RTP means, how can I contribute meaningfully to this discussion?” So, I took a deep breath and asked for clarification.


“A well-placed question can be the catalyst for change, whether you’re discussing quarterly financial reports or navigating emotional intricacies with your spouse.” 


The room fell silent, eyes shifted, but a constructive response followed. The VP admitted he wasn’t entirely sure of the correct definition either. He then promptly emailed corporate communications to clarify the term, leading to a company-wide reminder that it’s better to ask than to make silent assumptions.


The Lesson: Assumptions Can Be Dangerous

This experience revealed the ease with which we can make assumptions and guesses, whether in boardrooms or bedrooms. Assumptions can lead to misunderstandings, wasted resources, or flawed strategies. Guesses give us a 50/50 chance of being right, leaving much room for error.

In relationships, these assumptions can sow seeds of disappointment and erode trust, leading to unnecessary confusion, conflicts, and emotional disconnection.


The Solution: Clear Communication

So, what’s the solution?

Clear, honest communication involves staying open, curious, and actively listening to each other.


Turning Beliefs into Accuracy

We should strive to turn our beliefs into accurate understandings in our professional and personal lives. This involves asking questions—even the ones we think are “dumb”—and cultivating a culture that encourages open communication.

In my work as a Relationship Coach, I can’t stress enough how asking the right questions and seeking quality information is critical for couples to understand each other better.


The Ripple Effect of a Single Question

My question about RTP did more than fill a knowledge gap; it led to a small but significant organizational change. But this ripple effect isn’t confined to boardrooms; it can also reverberate through our personal lives. A single question in a relationship could clarify misunderstandings or be the turning point that saves a relationship from ending.


Final Thoughts

As we navigate our dual roles in professional settings and personal relationships, let’s remember the power of a well-placed question. The benefits—more transparent communication, fewer assumptions, and better decision-making—are worth the momentary discomfort.

Key Takeaways

✅Asking questions is empowering.

✅Assumptions are risky and can be damaging.

✅Open communication is crucial in all aspects of life.


What’s your ‘question’ story?

😀Comment below—I’d love to hear your experiences and insights.


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