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Is there such a thing as a stupid question?

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People often say: “There are no stupid or dumb questions.” Is this really the case? I sometimes hear people say this and then react to some questions as if those are not particularly clever.

There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.

Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

I completely agree with this sentiment by Carl Sagan. Sometimes the rest of the audience and the person the question is posed to think the question is naive, tedious, ill-phrased, untimely, seemingly irrelevant or a repeat of some previously said. But the asker of the question still lacks understanding and is brave enough to seek clarification. If the question disturbs the flow in the meeting or session, respond in a pleasant way and point the asker towards understanding.

I believe all questions should be asked. This is the vision behind Always Asq. The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked.

What do you think?

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