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Nov 15, 2023

How do we know what questions to ask? What happens when you feel like asking but don’t? There is a lot going on in today’s world where we either have too much information or the feeling of not enough time…sometimes both! Where do we begin to understand how we fit into a situation and take away more than what we started with? Asking the right question includes a lot of understanding about yourself, your needs, needs of others, and many more considerations and it’s best to bet on yourself to know how to ask the right question, at the right time. This episode touches on several places to start. Take a listen and continue your discovery journey!
We have all we need to become the person we want to be…let’s remember how to connect with others with sincerity and genuine intent as we continue the mission to serve.
Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy this episode and please remember to check in on your buddies and family.
Episode Transcription:

00;00;08;00 - 00;00;27;27
You're listening to the Oracle Maven podcast, where we bring people together from the veteran affiliated community to highlight employees, partners, organized actions, and those who are continuing the mission to serve. Welcome to the Maven podcast. I'm your host, Chris Spencer, and in this episode I'm joined by our co-host David Cross, senior vice president and SAS Chief Information Security Officer within Oracle.

00;00;28;03 - 00;00;42;04
How do we know what questions to ask? What happens when you feel like asking but don't? There's a lot going on in today's world where we either have too much information or the feeling of not enough time. Sometimes both. Where do we begin to understand how we fit into a situation and take away more than what we start with?

00;00;42;08 - 00;01;00;09
Asking the right question includes a lot of understanding about yourself. Your needs, the needs of others, and many more considerations. And it's best to bet on yourself to know how to ask the right question at the right time. This episode touches on several places to start, so take a listen and continue your discovery journey. We have all we need to become the person we want to be.

00;01;00;10 - 00;01;19;24
So let's remember how to connect with others with sincerity and genuine intent. As we continue the mission to serve. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy this episode and please remember to check in on your buddies and family. David's contact details are in the podcast description and you can always find me on LinkedIn Good morning, David. How's it going?

00;01;20;17 - 00;01;32;22
Great, Chris. You know, I'm always looking forward kicking off Monday morning when we record these. You know, after the weekends, this is a top priority. That's why it's, you know, exciting to be part of this podcast community.

00;01;33;10 - 00;02;16;27
Yeah, no, you're right. It is You know, some some would say that Mondays is probably the most active depending on how you set up your time. But, you know, for everybody out there, we usually kick this off when David and I are speaking early in the week, early in the morning, fresh mindset, clear thinking, and hopefully it just paves the way for the solid 40 something minutes to talk about some things that are either introducing what we had talked about before, but not in too much depth or, you know, we've now just had something transition from something we had mentioned before and you know, we think it's a good idea to dove into some of that

00;02;16;27 - 00;02;49;22
So in the past, we've talked about visibility, you know, making yourself visible to others based off of your performance in your activities. Or others can see it good, bad or indifferent. It all culminates into building and establishing credibility in the things that you're responsible for. But extend your opportunity to network. Of course, now that more people can see what value you provide, you're able to you know, provide the details in a way that they can make it relevant to the needs for whatever they're trying to achieve.

00;02;50;18 - 00;03;20;23
And then we talked about communication, and there's levels to that right? There's the verbal, non-verbal, but being effective and how you communicate these things as as you know, when we're writing certain things down, you know, a misplaced word and context of a structured, you know, you can have a definite different meaning than what was intended. And so we want to make sure that we're able to articulate things in a way that's making it relevant to the perception or the potential perception that one might take on where you stand within their circle.

00;03;20;29 - 00;03;24;23
And so today, we'll talk about asking the right questions.

00;03;25;08 - 00;03;46;22
That's right, Chris. And certainly we're going to ask lots of questions here and kind of push the envelope, you know, and some people may asking, why in the world do we try to target, you know, 45 minutes or so for this podcast, right. Well, the answer is everybody, let's be open, honest, is that because we're all runners, right? And we want to listen to a podcast that takes about 45 minutes because that's how fast we all run our ten ks, isn't it?

00;03;47;21 - 00;03;48;00

00;03;49;06 - 00;03;55;24
Yes, yes. I will say until you actually challenge me to where I have to demonstrate whether or not going to do it that way.

00;03;56;06 - 00;04;01;13
Yeah, we're going to roll, Chris, and so we're going to push this year. Let's see if we can do a 25 minute ten K sound good.

00;04;02;02 - 00;04;28;24
Let's do it. I might be limping along there for the last part of it, but that's all right. Don't quit. Yeah. So asking the right questions, I think you would. Situational awareness. You're kind of, you're, you're not kind of you're sitting around in, in a moment and observing and then you're trying to find probably the spots that you can pick to either add value or, you know, obtain more information through some method.

00;04;28;24 - 00;04;41;19
Right. And so asking questions, of course, is is one of the ways to do that. Of course, if you sit and listen more, you probably, you know, learn more than you anticipated. But, you know, finding the right time to ask a question, I think David is probably where we should start. Right?

00;04;42;01 - 00;05;02;02
I absolutely you know, and I think it's like everything that I think is we should always be thinking about like, you know, the book Atomic Habits, right? You actually want to build a habit of always asking questions, you know, is like every day, every hour, maybe not every day, every week. You know, with things like with your managers, your peers, your organization.

00;05;02;02 - 00;05;22;16
Right. You should be thinking about. All right. Have I ask any questions today? And it's not about, you know, to play a game. It's more of that. Hey, am I delivering the right results today? Right. Am I meeting expectations today? Is my focus on the right priorities today? Right. It sounds simple in a sound sometimes not necessary, but it's it's a great mindset.

00;05;22;16 - 00;05;24;20
And so I got to build that habit with everybody.

00;05;25;04 - 00;05;49;24
You know, and this wasn't planned. But you'd mentioned the book and what's funny is this last weekend, I had I had gone away for a couple of days off grid disconnected. No, no cell reception. So it was forced. But also a convenient way to not be tempted because you just even if you wanted to connect, you couldn't. There was a book who's in a cabin there was that book.

00;05;49;26 - 00;06;07;17
It was one of the three books in the house, in the cabin. That was one that was sitting on there. And I didn't pick it up, but my eyes gravitated towards it. And you just mentioned it. So let's let's kick this around a little bit, you know, because you mentioned about asking asking questions at certain times and, you know, the philosophical approach.

00;06;07;17 - 00;06;29;15
And am I doing enough for my doing the right things and things like that? Well, maybe we kick this thing off and say, well, how do you get to that part? Right. And I believe that if you're immersed into a situation where there's intensity, pressure, stress, maybe you're not thinking as clearly as you as you could or should unless you've conditioned yourself to where you introduced it.

00;06;29;15 - 00;06;47;07
And we've talked about it before. You've conditioned yourself to have the right mindset. Right, and you become resilient in that way to know that in in in sometimes high pressure situations, I'm able to think about what's necessary for for me to be valuable in that moment.

00;06;49;10 - 00;07;13;10
That weekend, this last weekend was an opportunity for me to be able to clear, clear the room, if you will, of congestion. Right. Or you know, just high volume or high amount of activity that had me, you know, probably not prioritizing things the right way or following a path that I could make sense of the right questions to be asking at this point, given the situation I'm in.

00;07;14;09 - 00;07;23;19
What are your thoughts on how do you get to the part of understanding whether or not you need to do something different related to questions?

00;07;24;20 - 00;07;49;08
Well, let's go back again to the atomic habits like I could I'll say something that, okay, if you have a family, right, I see a significant other. You know, sometimes you'd ask the question to your significant other, like, am I doing the right things for our our marriage right now? Yes. Your kids and my I am I being a good dad or mom, you know, to the two to you right now, you guys asked your mentors or friends.

00;07;49;08 - 00;08;05;17
It's like, you know, how am I doing right now? What's your perception in sounds like, why in the world would you ask these questions? But if you take a step back right now, you know, I love to hear what your feedback process is like. Would you not want to know exactly what they're thinking when you ask your kids?

00;08;05;17 - 00;08;24;26
Like my being a good dad, your your significant other is like my being a good partner right now or your friends, like, what's your perception of me, you know, and in some ways they may be a really excited or even surprised that you're asking, but when you want to know exactly what they're thinking when you ask that question.

00;08;26;01 - 00;08;42;24
Yeah. And I have jokes in my head, if I'm asking my kids, Am I being a good dad to you? And then be like, No, because you've got to give me money, you know? So yeah, everybody wins on that one. I guess I got my feedback and they maybe get some cash it, you know, you said it the feedback, right?

00;08;42;24 - 00;09;03;07
So another, another scenario which my thoughts will include is, you know, recently if somebody is coming to you that doesn't normally come to you and they're and they're, you know, it could be a manager, somebody, some position of influence authority that matters less. But you're not used to the answering questions in a way that they aren't. So they ask.

00;09;03;11 - 00;09;21;19
So like different levels of questioning right. So, you know, you being a senior vice president, probably high level, you have an enormous amount of knowledge in the details of something wherever in the topic that you have because you've conditioned your mindset to understand that stuff. You know, it it's your it's your thing. Whereas maybe I don't because I'm not I'm not at that level.

00;09;21;19 - 00;09;38;10
I'm not exposed to it on a regular basis to think that way. So I'm a little bit more in the weeds and whatnot. So if you ask me a question that I'm not used to hearing, I may not answer it accurately, especially if it's over Slack or text or something like that written. Then I, I may answer it.

00;09;38;10 - 00;10;10;29
And then you walk away thinking a certain kind of way about my answer where it wasn't wasn't complete. I have learned in that sense to where there's some people out there that hear things and they answer a question, but they don't understand the context or the spirit or the essence of the question to be able to follow up and be mindful of the things that I'm taking the long way around to answer your your or respond to your your statement is the selfless thought that goes into wanting to know, did I answer your question?

00;10;11;05 - 00;10;28;24
Am I serving you in the way that you expect? Am I delivering the things that are of value to you? And I think if we learned to become habitual in responding to people when they ask a question you say something along the lines of and you can make it your own. Does that into your question? Was that helpful?

00;10;29;27 - 00;10;33;28
You know, that way you can kind of calibrate whether or not you did answer it.

00;10;34;17 - 00;10;51;29
I think it's a very important point, Chris, just like is that when you're asking questions, you get an answer, or if you're giving an answer to some ask you questions it's the follow up questions. There's sometimes even more important. Right. I think you just said, is that did that answer what you were looking for is did I provide you in that the right direction?

00;10;51;29 - 00;11;15;21
Getting that clarity right? That's a big part of communication. Likewise, I think when sometimes you let's say you ask your manager or a peer saying, hey, am I doing the right things for the team? No, no, you're wasting everyone's time or you're focused on the wrong things. Now, sometimes people immediately will be defensive, right? And say, oh, hang on, the most important point is saying, oh, I'd like to understand that more.

00;11;15;22 - 00;11;42;17
Speaker 2
Right. You then asked them an additional question to get the more context so you can reflect and internalizing on it. And that's the most important thing because it's there especially you now open up the door that's a positive door, a getting a a wealth of information and feedback loops in and it's a safe place to do so. You know, I know I said a million times, especially on this topic, is that whenever you get feedback you always have one answer.

00;11;43;01 - 00;11;58;06
Thank you for the feedback. You never be defensive on it. If you ever respond, it's more of like can it's about asking more questions to get more feedback in a safe way because then that you never, ever, ever want to close that door because that means you're shutting the door on your career.

00;11;59;18 - 00;12;23;24
Yeah, there's missed opportunities. I mean that there's the can we open it up? So the missed opportunity, I mean, the engagement through dialog I think is kind of a, for me, a simplistic way to approach it, right? If if relationships are key to the things that we are trying to achieve right? Because we never do it alone. We may think that that's not accurate.

00;12;24;18 - 00;12;55;11
If relationships are key to the things that we're trying to achieve, the kind of the base premise right? The the fundamentals of the foundation of that comes through the dialog where we learn more about the types of individuals that we're engaging with. And I think you just nailed it is one, the candor which you've talked about before is all is all most of us need is because if everything's good in our head, then we don't really grow because we're not being challenged.

00;12;55;11 - 00;13;14;25
You know, it's all perceptions virtual virtually, depending upon how you perceive things in the timing of things. But if the dialog isn't occurring where it's it's inconsistent of just facts, right? It's just we're just talking and I'm sharing with you based off of our, our relationship and the value that we provide each other in the roles that we're in.

00;13;15;03 - 00;13;25;00
I'm giving you information so we can together continue this to grow this relationship and then be able to, you know, how do you say drive towards common goals?

00;13;26;10 - 00;13;30;20
Yes. You know, common goals, shared goals, shared outcomes, Absolutely.

00;13;31;18 - 00;13;51;00
Yeah. So it's the you know, like you said, is, you know, taking the information in for what it is, you know, avoiding the temptation to be take it personally. I was going to say not be emotional about it. Maybe you should be emotional about it. Maybe maybe you should be upset that somebody is coming to you and sharing with you.

00;13;51;02 - 00;14;08;24
Now, delivery is also the thing. I want to I want to be clear here, right? So you have to be we learned this in the military, but, you know, anywhere you learn this tact is important, right? How you deliver it. It's not necessarily sometimes what you say, it's how you say it that carries the impact, too. So but even then, we can dissect that and say, well, that's all relative perception.

00;14;08;24 - 00;14;24;09
Based off of the person you're speaking with, how they feel at the moment, maybe the lens they have, maybe they are in a you know, not in a great mood. And then, you know, some you could say the same thing twice and it be interpreted differently each time. But depending on the mood of the individual, you're saying it, too.

00;14;24;09 - 00;14;37;12
But I think I think you're right. It's it's a matter of understanding the timing of everything that we share with each other and the information we share has got to be relevant. And you had to be able to tie it to something that's important to what you're trying to do together.

00;14;38;17 - 00;15;02;03
I think you brought up a really important point, Chris. It's they it's not just about tact. Right. And I think as we learn, it's about IQ right here, the emotional quotient. And I'm going to put that one down me. That's why we have a future podcast, right? Because you may be as factually correct and accurate as possible, but if you don't have your IQ in line, right by the the the communication flow, the result can be very, very negative.

00;15;02;03 - 00;15;04;24
So I'm going to see that on our list here for that for the future.

00;15;05;06 - 00;15;06;05
I wrote it down.

00;15;06;20 - 00;15;26;07
You know, with that said, you know, I think that there's also a little bit of the time and place of when to ask questions, right? So just like, you know, the IQ being in a safe place is that you really want to understand the and think about the context, the situation that you're in, right? Is that asking questions at the wrong time, right?

00;15;26;07 - 00;15;50;13
Can be create the wrong perceptions and things like that. And you always make sure there's a a safe place. Right. It also likewise is that knowing you know, you may get, you know, not the you may get feedback that may be painful. Right. So for example, one of my favorite things I told many mentors is that once a month, you should ask your manager, you know, what's the one thing that you're doing wrong, right?

00;15;50;14 - 00;16;06;06
What's the most painful, you know, failure, right? And you want to do it safe. That your manager gets to emotion that into a position that they're very comfortable sharing with you because you want to know the things that are the back of their mind that they're holding back. They know it's going to be painful they don't want to share it because we're human.

00;16;07;00 - 00;16;23;26
So certainly don't do this on a Friday, you know, because in a Friday, it's like, yeah, the weekend's going to be kind of miserable for you. Right? You know, the idea is like maybe doing a Monday or Tuesday. So that night you're going to go home, not feel so good, but you're going to get through it. Right. Versus dwelling on it.

00;16;23;26 - 00;16;35;07
Over the weekend. But once you get used to it, you also want to do it. You want to continue doing it, but you're going can be ready for it. So it's about planning when you perform things.

00;16;35;28 - 00;16;54;06
Yeah, it's a good point. The you know, this is classic. So time time is is a factor in everything that we're doing, right? I mean, that's I think everybody understands that if you have time for it, you try to bring it up. But here's a common thing that I've noticed. You know, maybe you've you're in a you're in a conversation with somebody like, oh, I have to go like, wait one more question.

00;16;54;06 - 00;17;16;20
And it's it's the big question that probably should have been asked earlier. But you drop it when somebody has already said that they're in a rush, in a hurry, needing to now, you know, leave the leave the conversation and then you give them this this deep question that significant in everything that's happening. And like you on the Friday, what you're saying on a Friday is, you know, sometimes you don't want to do that for whatever reason.

00;17;17;12 - 00;17;48;26
I think it's a matter of that IQ that you're talking about. The the situational awareness and we've experienced this where if under pressure the timing of it is to say, hey, we got we have to go. We have to execute well. If that's the case, then recognize read the room to recognize, you know, is this a question that I need to know the answer based on the severity of the time of where we're in at the moment, or is this something that we just table and we can learn after?

00;17;49;05 - 00;18;13;17
Or I can ask somebody else. And I think that's what it all it's an infinite loop that comes back to the individual and understanding if you're not contributing at the right level where you bring in value that's par with the team that you're in or the group that you're in, then it's probably better safe than sorry to hold the question and take it offline instead of consuming time with everybody else around.

00;18;13;28 - 00;18;27;15
That is probably already on the table. Now we can go back and pass it back to you, but you go back and say, Well, maybe everybody's thinking the same thing and nobody's asking it. And then now that important question doesn't get asked. That's a tough one.

00;18;27;26 - 00;18;40;23
Actually. I think you raise some great points here about is the timing of like in the audience when it's a one on one audience. For a larger audience, there's the times of things that you'd say that now I need to ask a question because there's an elephant in the room and no one's raising it, and that's the right thing to do.

00;18;41;03 - 00;19;05;17
There's other times that they're everyone's maybe afraid to ask the question and you need to step up and lead through that. There's also other times that you need be careful that you may have an issue with one person. You may have an issue with, you know, one thing, that thing of sometimes asking the wrong question at the wrong time can derail everything and be very damaging in saying that you may want to choose to take it offline or go to individual.

00;19;06;09 - 00;19;21;24
And so to be very careful and thinking through that. Right, is that whose impact would be the question, is it everyone in a positive or negative way or is it just one person? And being very strategic and thoughtful on that is equally important yeah.

00;19;22;08 - 00;19;44;26
Yeah. And actually just kind of rolling my eyes, looking for a way to explain it. If you're really dialed in to the room where there's multiple people or maybe it's just one, you know, that you you probably see the right person to ask the question. So maybe it's not necessarily to everybody, but then you've already identified that this person is demonstrated to be skilled in this area.

00;19;45;17 - 00;20;06;02
Let me not consume time from everybody else to ask the question that's probably most relevant to only that one person that I'm able to now be aware of, because historically we've learned that these, you know, these positions that we're in and roles that we're in, you know, we know who to go to. And we can we can target the question specifically being more efficient.

00;20;06;02 - 00;20;21;00
But that's the work that we're talking about, is to be able to share the information, to know who's bringing the value in particular areas. This is what we're talking about. You're developing a group of people around you to know who to go to for very specific things to optimize time.

00;20;21;03 - 00;20;46;09
Yeah, absolutely. Now, let's take it to the next level is thinking about best practices. And sometimes that that there's a topic, whether it's a meeting with others or topic with, you know, with a manager or a peer. And you need to ask a hard question or exploratory. Well, sometimes you want to be do it in advance and saying, hey, for the meeting later in the week, here's the questions I'm going to ask.

00;20;46;13 - 00;21;04;11
Right. Or here's the questions here's the things that I'm looking for feedback on, or here's the things that I'm concerned about, or here's things I need clarity on in how you can do the, you know, the prep work. I love I'm a big fan of pre read, right? When you're helping everybody understand is what's going to come up, they can be ready for it.

00;21;04;12 - 00;21;29;02
They can be they can think through it. They can, you know, be thoughtful about it versus being a surprise right now. We all admit that sometimes that is the right tactic to surprise someone when things are going wrong. But think about it. You know, what is going to be a tactical hit? You know what's going to be a strategic, you know, motion and the timing is is critical planning.

00;21;30;02 - 00;21;47;25
That's another one that we talk about planning, right? So you're if you know, you're going to a conference, it's a mindset you've talked about it. But drilling down into that, if you know you're going somewhere, you know you're going on a trip, you can travel you want on a plane, taking a road trip, going to a conference, you plan you prepare.

00;21;48;10 - 00;22;06;23
That level of preparation is to get you to be more present wherever you're going as much as possible. To know that where you are is what's relevant to what should be on your mind. But you've prepared for it no different in planning a conversation. And I think that's probably what some people I don't know how many I don't know.

00;22;07;10 - 00;22;24;23
Some people don't consider that and they wait until the meeting to introduce something. So they create an agenda or they say, hey, I want to talk to you next week, let me know what's good and then leave it at that with the common question that comes back. But some people just probably have become accustomed to receiving it that way.

00;22;25;01 - 00;22;46;13
There isn't a follow up. Say Hey, great. Yeah, I can try to find time. What is it that we want to talk about? You can fire that question off and help somebody grow around you to be better prepared by planting the information early on what the general topics would include. So we have more meaningful depth and substance in the conversation when we get to that part yeah.

00;22;46;14 - 00;23;01;03
Chris, I can't resist commenting on this one. It's like one of my personal pet peeves is people that as you didn't become a manager, an organization, you know, over time, if you're like, Oh, David, I want to have a one on one with you. And I'm like, all right, what's the agenda? What questions you want to ask, right?

00;23;01;13 - 00;23;18;14
Is like, I don't want to meet unless I know what's upcoming is like, am I the right person? Is can I be prepped on the questions? Are we going to be surprised on it? Right. And I think that is it's a my personal pet peeve. But I also, I think in being a better leader, being a better person is kind of like, all right, here's the agenda.

00;23;18;14 - 00;23;29;27
Here's the questions I'm going to ask so that it can be the most productive, you know, in optimized conversation versus being surprised and then it's like great questions. I need to follow up on that because I got to go look into it.

00;23;30;17 - 00;23;50;26
Right. Which delays. Yeah. And, you know, the selfish thing and I'll say that with love in my heart, the selfish thing is to think that if it happens to you, you won't feel the same way, right? If somebody comes in and drops something last minute on you, you know, it's happened to us before. It was like, why didn't you tell me earlier?

00;23;51;04 - 00;24;18;23
Or Why didn't you let me know? Or I don't know. I'd have to think about that. I mean, we're digging deep on this one because some people probably won't even be able to have our, say, courage or confidence might be a better word. I don't know. To be able to say because it's we're all based. Right. You know, David, senior vice president, you know, chief information security, these titles that might interfere with my ability where David comes to me, ask me a question that I don't really have an answer for.

00;24;18;23 - 00;24;36;24
So instead of saying it's a good question, David, I'm going to need a day to probably go back and try to find some of those answers. Instead, I'll feel compelled to accommodate the question because of the pressure I put on myself on who is in front of me. And it's my own thing. And I'm like, hmm, And now I might be reaching for the answers, right?

00;24;36;24 - 00;25;00;26
So I think I think these things that we're talking about here is, you know, we're scraping the surface on scenarios that should introduce to anybody that's caring to hear it all the opportunities to where you can simply optimize time and be courteous to others by asking questions up front but that takes preparation, which you have to have clarity, which you have to know yourself on.

00;25;01;02 - 00;25;07;06
What will it take for me to have these elements to be optimal, invaluable in other people's goals?

00;25;07;24 - 00;25;25;17
Absolutely. And Chris, it doesn't matter of what the levels are for the people, you know, the hierarchy's things like that. You know, tomorrow, Chris, if you get a you get a message saying, Chris, I want to have a one on one with you tomorrow for some urgent issues. How do you feel about that ambiguity? Right. Am I the right person you know, can I be prepped for this?

00;25;25;17 - 00;25;34;26
Right. You know, and this person would join with me. Who cares, right? You want to be ready for it. And it's really then you say no one on one because I want to know what the questions are.

00;25;35;22 - 00;25;52;24
Yeah, it's not fair. And that goes back to the core asking the right questions. So it's like, okay, great. Got it. Can you give me the top three things just real quick? I know you have to go consider it. Right? I'm acknowledging compassion and empathy. I'm saying, well, the person's probably benefit doubt. Probably too busy to give me the details.

00;25;52;24 - 00;26;17;28
And in their mind, is just doing me. They think they're doing me a favor by saying, hey, it's it's important. But now my mind's especially on Friday, my mind's world wending around the infinite loop of the abyss of what it could be. And to them, again, it's it's relative to perception. To them, it's urgent. To me, it's like, oh, I wish you had told me that in the beginning, because that simple I could slack or text you or simply respond immediately because I know the answer.

00;26;18;25 - 00;26;35;00
Correct? Yeah. Or it's a Friday. A Friday afternoon. Chris, an urgent to talk to you about. And like, I got to wait 8 hours to find out about this. You know, I was going to take off a weekend, right? Yeah. And I think that's sometimes when you play it back to people like, oh, yeah, yeah, that's quite reasonable. I should have offer that to you.

00;26;35;01 - 00;26;35;09

00;26;35;21 - 00;27;02;21
It's fair, right? To be fair, you know, and that's, that's being inclusive, that's being respectful, that's being mindful, it's being you know, the type of professional that, you know, most people would love to have. Some people don't recognize that it's a possibility because not everybody's doing it because well, a bunch of reasons, but maybe just people aren't aware or they're not cognizant of how they're they're giving the impression to others.

00;27;02;21 - 00;27;27;07
Of what they're doing. Maybe maybe nobody slow them down to say, here's what you said. Here's the one thing that you can improve on. I've noticed this last week. Right. But if you don't ask that now, you've put it on somebody else to to, you know, overflow their tolerance levels, if you will, and then feel compelled to say it through probably a higher level of emotion versus a baseline of just simple conversation.

00;27;27;23 - 00;27;50;27
Absolutely. And I think that the thing is, you know, coming back to the fundamentals here, is is we talked many times of things about, you know, listening. Sometimes, you know, the best listeners, the best leaders are the people that ask questions. Right. And it's not a challenge. Right. It's to understand. And sometimes by asking questions, people can really feel right that you care, that you're understanding.

00;27;50;27 - 00;28;12;00
Right. You're you're that you are listening. Right? Because if you ask questions versus, you know, like, now I'm just talking to you, you're nodding your head like, are you really listening to me, Chris? Right. But like but if you start asking me questions like, oh, you were listening to me, oh, you do care, right? You do understand. It's amazing how powerful just asking a few questions can be in communication.

00;28;12;16 - 00;28;45;07
I'm not my head because immediately said something that had me think of a friend of mine who introduced something that when when he and I talk, he wasn't asking the right questions right. And he'd gone through a pretty significant career and being successful at it. He's humble enough. He probably won't admit that. But when he when somebody in my mind that I hold in high regard says it not asking the right questions, I'm like, how do you how did you achieve everything that you did and not ask the right questions?

00;28;45;19 - 00;29;08;21
But so I was immediately I was listening and listening to talk a little bit because I wanted to share that. But you're right. The you know, the communication, that's another element that you factor in. And what's your what's your observing that should spark if you're in the moment, you should spark that should spark you now to realize something because you're recognizing that it's different than what you had seen in the last couple of minutes.

00;29;08;21 - 00;29;28;23
And it's initiating another desire to learn. And that's the point. I think we all get that you ask questions to learn. Some of the problem is, you know, some of us have some pride and ego or we don't feel like we can or should from the people that we're around at the moment. And so we don't. Right. And that's probably your most vulnerable moment.

00;29;29;12 - 00;29;48;17
Yeah. I'm coming back to the point is, you know, Chris, I think that you think about times that we're doing a review or presentation to one of our leaders, executives, others right. And do you like it the most when they just they nod, they quiet for an hour and they say, all right, thanks, everybody. See you soon. Okay.

00;29;48;17 - 00;30;11;02
Do they get it? Do they really like it? You know, feedback versus throughout the question, you know, throughout the presentation or review, they're like they're asking some questions, some thoughtful question, and they understand it. Oh, yeah. They they clearly we're on the same page. Oh, oh, no. We're we're off track here. We ask just sometimes just asking a few questions, even if it's that they're totally aligned, they're totally on the same page.

00;30;11;02 - 00;30;26;16
They're totally going to approve everything. A few questions gives us that validation, right? And that sometimes is very important to us as leaders. So thinking about or just anyone, right? Is how are you coming, you know, communicating back, ask a few questions. You've conveyed a very clear message back.

00;30;27;09 - 00;30;50;13
Yeah. So let's let's tinker with the. Well, let me go back and I just did what you just said. I teach back in a conversation. It's a classroom setting sometimes that where you've seen it, right? Where the you know, we we show, we tell, we show. And then they demonstrate understanding something that we're familiar with. Right. That's sort of times training and all that stuff.

00;30;50;13 - 00;31;13;06
When we go out there in the field and learn something or not, depending on who you are, but the idea, though, is, you know, you're acknowledging through, you know, repeating what was just discussed like. No, it's a good point, David. You know, it's it's when people don't demonstrate that they've confirmed or, you know, through some method confirm that they've heard what you just said before you move on.

00;31;13;06 - 00;31;32;24
I was just did that. And the intent is to be curious about it enough to where you don't have to think about that. Right. And I think that comes through putting the reps in and rehearsing on how to just a good news you heard all the time he's you know the person she's a great conversationalist. You know, she really listens.

00;31;33;06 - 00;31;57;25
And I really feel like there's substance in the conversations that we're having because before you move on to a subject, you want to make sure that it's complete. Right. And that comes through just the thing that we just talked about. You know, somebody says something and you respond. It's how you respond that kind of motivates or incentivizes somebody wanted to continue because if it's empty and like what you said in your example, you know, they just said, okay, that's great.

00;31;57;25 - 00;32;17;18
And any other questions, everybody? Yeah, you don't feel heard, which probably is another episode, you know, how do you feel heard or how can you you know what? I don't know. Doesn't matter. But yeah, I think I think it's a it's a point to where, you know, reciprocating the the you got to close beginning, middle end the story.

00;32;17;22 - 00;32;25;28
The beginning is what's the question? The middle is the conversation. And the end is the summary of what we just talked about in some brief form, depending on the level of conversation.

00;32;26;26 - 00;32;44;29
Yeah. Spin on. I think that's a great summary, Chris. I think the I think that, you know, the real question, I think at the end here, no, pun intended to. Right. Is like how do we get everyone, you know, to build the habit of asking lots of questions, right. You know, and I'll say if you're having everybody, you know, pick up the book, you know, comic habits, right?

00;32;44;29 - 00;32;52;03
An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones. And if you haven't read the book, Chris, have you read that book yet?

00;32;52;21 - 00;33;04;05
No, I don't. I I have I have a lot of books. I read some of them, but rarely do I read all of them all the way through. So but I have it and I've dabbled yes.

00;33;04;22 - 00;33;13;12
Yeah. So, Chris, we we have to we have to build the habit of you reading all the book recommendations we make on this this podcast. Yeah. And that's not a question. It's a statement.

00;33;14;09 - 00;33;51;09
It's a fact. Right. So you're right. Yeah. I mean, it's I think the funny thing is there if I were to kind of pull that as an analogy or kind of metaphorically speaking, I'd probably analogy an example is that's indicative of conversation, right? Where you pick your spots level of interest and then that probably either excites you about asking more questions because it's something that you're connected to and your, your, you know, it's important and so you do that or if it's not that compelling for you, that probably drives your interest level too, where you don't answer the question or you don't read the whole book.

00;33;51;09 - 00;34;14;02
You know, you're looking for something that you want and then you leave, right? So whether it's conversation or relationship or book or what have you and maybe that's the things that we can consider to say it's it's never about you, really. It's always about others. And so what you're wanting to do is a goal is maybe to carry that mindset into, say, how can I serve you better?

00;34;15;14 - 00;34;15;29
Well, what?

00;34;17;11 - 00;34;22;24
All right. Good stuff, David. It's always a pleasure. Any closing comments.

00;34;23;19 - 00;34;43;17
In closing comment is I say to everyone is that starting tomorrow, start asking yourself questions. I start asking your managers questions, start asking your peers questions. Right. And you know, we're looking forward to the next podcast, too. And we're going to ask everybody at the beginning, you know, what questions have you asked yourself today before kicking off the episode?

00;34;44;16 - 00;34;49;12
I love it. Yeah. Questions. Ask them how anybody keep moving forward,