Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney and author of the bestselling book Doing Justice, maintains that deep understanding of any subject involves asking questions. "Smart questions are good; dumb questions are even better." (Click to Tweet!)
So-called dumb questions, says Bharara, get to the bottom line. They "uncover superficial reasons, reveal bad logic, and expose fake experts." He says there is no exact right number of questions to ask, but he does know this: "Find the person in a new job who asks the fewest questions, and there’s your problem."
Recounting a story from his own past, the author writes, "I can still remember the steely look of one of my early supervisors when I or others asked basic questions. Years later I still remember the chill of inadequacy I felt. But I didn’t let it stop me. I just took my inquiries elsewhere and asked incessant, annoying questions. And usually I got the answers I needed."
What’s something useful you learned from asking a "dumb question"? Have you ever stopped yourself from asking a basic question and regretted it later? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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