By Rosemary Ravinal
Imagine this scenario: you are summoned to a group meeting to discuss the company’s restructuring. Your boss lays out the plan and 30-minutes later, asks if there are any questions. The atmosphere is tense. Everyone is silent. Then someone raises a hand and asks an intelligent question, and other questions soon follow. The first questioner displayed courageous communication and the confidence to verbalize what others were thinking. In essence, the question opened a gateway for others to ask their own.
People like to be asked for their opinion. It gives them agency and authority. Asking a question denotes a measure of humility and can help bridge across ranks and levels of responsibility. It’s a great way to break the ice and spark curiosity in others. This goes for the presenter as well as meeting attendees or audience members.