Ask Away

As our professional staff training (#PST2012) is starting up here in University Student Housing at Texas Tech I have begun to really notice the power of asking questions. I find it amazing how many questions I still have even as a returner to the department, and it is great to hear all the questions from our new staff. I think it can be really empowering to ask questions, but you need to do a few things before you can feel confident to ask questions.

Comfort. Be in a comfortable environment where questions are welcomed and encouraged. If unfortunately you are not in this situation then you need to find your comfort zone to ask questions in appropriate venues.  

Perspective. Remember your perspective when asking your questions. Why are you asking the question you are asking? Sometimes we ask questions because we desire change, but sometimes we may be asking questions on a sensitive subject that may elicit a defensive response. Remember your perspective and accept that the person you are asking may have a different perspective.

Find your voice. It is essential to find your professional voice – how are you going to ask questions in meetings, from your supervisor, and from your peers? Figure out what venues are appropriate for you to ask questions. I have found that it is important for me to feel knowledgeable about a subject before asking a question in our large professional staff meeting in order to feel confident because to me it is important to know what I want to say to the group.

Like I said – I think it can be truly empowering to ask questions. I have found that by asking more questions I feel furthered empowered as a professional. As I think about future places of employment I know that an environment where questions are welcomed is high on my priority list.

In peace,

Ryan Bye 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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