Why do you hesitate in asking a question?

Why do you hesitate in asking a question?

Seven years ago, I went to Singapore. Day two, I was in a meeting room packed with Business users explaining requirements. I was excited. I gave all my ears to the proceedings.

Fifteen mins into the meeting, and I was not following the topics discussed. My team members looked calm. Tension started building-up in me. I focused for another 10 mins. “Have I forgotten everything in the jet lag?”, a doubt surfaced.

“The process might be obvious, everyone might be knowing. If I ask, will I look stupid? I may lose face even before performing. What will my client manager think about the question?” There was a self-imposed pressure to do well. Tension turned into fear, and it paralysed me. Quotes and gyan that I read didn’t come handy.

I stopped the stories I was telling myself. I asked a question. I don’t know how it sounded, it allowed me to settle myself. It was a step forward. Why was I hesitant? Because I had to break the pattern. I had to interrupt the user. I had to break the flow of events. I had to change the course of a flowing river. I had to pick up the first plate in a wedding reception. The fear of being judged grew on me.

What self-stories stop you from asking questions?

Which words stick out for you?

Which words stick out for you?

“This project is critical for us. Analyse the requirements. Let us discuss your findings this week”, David said to his newly joined team member in his US office.

“I am on it. I will intimate you once we are good to discuss”, replied Sameer, who had just arrived in the new country.

“Sure, please notify me”, smirked David.

Both laughed.

Real incident, names changed.

What’s wrong in the word ‘intimate’ here? Intimate also means to tell something, but the context is different. When used as a verb, the underlying meaning is to hint, disclose or reveal (a secret).

I have been hearing, overhearing ‘I will intimate you’ over the past 15 days, every day. Or maybe I was selectively looking for it and found it most of the times. It sticks out every time I hear.

Inform or notify makes more sense depending on the context of usage. Your apps send notifications on the phone screen!

Do you intimate? Which words stick out for you in daily life?