Knowledge Management is Asking Questions

Hari Srinivas
Viewpoint Series E-185. January 2023.

Questioning Skills How can we develop skils to ask the right questions?

Developing the skills to ask the right questions can be a valuable asset in many areas of life, such as research, problem-solving, and communication. Here are a few strategies that can help you develop this skill:

  • Understand your goal: Before you start asking questions, it's important to understand what you're trying to accomplish. This will help you focus your questions and ensure that they are relevant to the task at hand.
  • Be specific: Instead of asking general questions, try to ask specific questions that will help you get the information you need. Be as clear and precise as possible in your questions.
  • Listen actively: When you're asking questions, it's important to listen actively to the answers. This will help you understand the information you're receiving and may prompt you to ask follow-up questions.
  • Use open-ended questions: Open-ended questions are questions that can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no" and encourage the other person to provide more information. These types of questions can be helpful in uncovering new information and understanding the perspectives of others.
  • Practice: The more you practice asking questions, the better you will become at it. Try to incorporate questioning into your daily conversations and pay attention to how you can improve.
  • Learn from feedback: Seek feedback on your questioning skills and use that feedback to improve.
  • Read and research: Learn from others who are good at asking questions by reading books and articles on the subject, and observe experts in your field when they ask questions.
Remember that asking the right questions is a skill that requires practice and patience, but with time and effort, you can improve your ability to ask the right questions and gather the information you need.


nowledge management is a process of creating, acquiring, sharing, and using information, skills, and experiences to improve decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation. Asking questions is a critical component of knowledge management because it helps to identify gaps in an organization's knowledge, generate new ideas, and foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Asking questions can help to stimulate critical thinking, challenge assumptions, and encourage individuals to think creatively. When people are encouraged to ask questions, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their interactions, and they are more likely to feel empowered to find solutions to problems. Furthermore, asking questions can help to build relationships and foster collaboration by encouraging individuals to share their knowledge and experiences.

In the context of knowledge management, asking questions can also help to identify knowledge assets that a community or an organization has and knowledge assets that it needs. This information can be used to create strategies for acquiring, sharing, and using knowledge in the most effective way. By asking questions, they can also identify and prioritize knowledge needs, which can help to guide the development of training and development programs.

Asking Questions

Asking questions the right way is an art in itself. The ability to ask the right question properly is probably as difficult as finding the right answer. It is a skill that will help us learn new things and obtain new insights. Good questioning skills may be the world's most unsung talent.

Ask the right questions in the right way, and you'll engage people; do it differently, and you'll put them off. As an ancient Japanese saying goes, everyone is a teacher and has something new to teach us, if only we ask them! And asking them starts with a question!

 Ask questions.
This is a really important skill! Ask questions - To clarify a doubt. To see how problems (and solutions) are linked together. To learn something new or something more.

 Take notes.
Write down anything and everything that comes to your mind. Take down notes on what is being said, on what you observed, on what came to your mind. That may help you recall what you learnt and also generate more ideas and linkages!

 Explain to understand.
Explain / discuss in a way that it is easy for other people to understand. Different people understand things in different ways. Be patient - making sure others also understand your ideas is important to develop common agreement/consensus in a group.

 Listen to engage.
But also LISTEN to what others are saying. Understand how others learnt too. Understand the context in which they are speaking.

 Be curious about everything!! Anything!
Be like a sponge - learn something new everyday, because everyone is a teacher. To be intelligent, you need to be knowledgeable, and you can't be knowledgeable if you are never curious.

 Learn from different sources.
Learn from different people. And link it and put it all together in your mind. Remember what someone else said something about it too.

 Use an idea in a new way.
Apply knowledge from seemingly unconnected places - You don't have a really good idea until you combine two little ideas!

 Be creative.
"Extrapolate" ideas - that is, link ideas to other ideas so that you can find solutions to big problems. Remember it is small steps that will help you climb a mountain!

 I don't know.
Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" or "I didn't understand" Someone will explain. Ask. People know.

 Study the "Big Picture".
Always keep the big picture in the back of your mind. Always ask: WHY are you learning this today?

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