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?

What is among the biggest challenges of living abroad?

What is among the biggest challenges of living abroad?

In our last visit to hometown, we went to a fine dining restaurant ‘Talking Hands’, served by deaf stewards. It was a new concept to me, and I was amazed looking at the effectiveness of sign language. It added a pinch of humour while ordering using hand signs in our excellent dining experience. 

As you move around the world to work, the language could be the most significant barrier in your daily life. This is particularly true if you are planning to work in European countries. 

In Hong Kong, locals use maps that are in Mandarin Chinese language; we were lost once and ended up circling our hotel twice before figuring out a way! In China, the restaurant menu could be in Mandarin Chinese, and if you thought you would use Google translate, get on Baidu!