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Asking Questions

The Importance of Clear Communication


Sunday, August 25, 2013
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I used to be a shy person who was scared to ask questions. I thought, unconsciously for while, that asking questions meant that I was either not paying attention, was not intellectual enough to be in the conversation, or just plain stupid. It is not that I didn’t seek answers. I would just do so quietly, searching in books or ease-dropping in on conversations.

Laura Stinchfield
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Laura Stinchfield

I have this uncanny ability to read body language and emotions not just in animals but in people as well. When I started working as a professional animal communicator I would notice when my clients seemed confused yet nodded their heads as if they understood. My passion for giving the animals a voice and relieving their suffering was so strong that I wanted people to truly understand what I was trying to convey or what the animals were saying.

I started asking clients if they understood me, and what felt right and what felt off. I started to ask the animals for more clarification in what they were saying so that I had the more details to relay to my clients. I began to realize that in my business it was smart to ask questions. I got better at my work and people felt more comfortable, approaching me if they didn’t understand something.

Slowly this thinking moved into other areas of my life and I became braver of speaking up and asking questions if I was confused. When dealing with some professionals they have an air of intellect to them. They are factual, clear, and concise. I have found that what is simple to them may not be simple to others. I have come to realize that as a child I picked up their emotions on how rudimental the subject was to them. My insecurities of how the subject was complex to me made these people unapproachable.

I have also learned from working with animals and their humans that everyone is on their own path and we may live lifetimes working on one or two issues of ours. I have learned that some people and animals learn quickly and others more slowly and that it is not all the intelligence of our brains that govern our learning process but also our environment and the situations we were raised in. I have learned to not to judge someone’s learning process and to meet everyone where they are.

“Don’t I deserve to give myself the same patience and understanding I give others?”

My profession has showed me how important it is for clear communication. I started to watch people communicating with one another and noticed there are a lot nods of understanding when one does not understand at all. It is important to ask questions not just for my own understanding but for the other party who feels they are communicating clearly when actually they are losing awareness.

Lately, I have been hearing people say to me, “You ask such great questions.” And I think to myself, “How silly I was to feel so insecure and insignificant… And how many others are just like me.”

Comments

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I agree, Laura. Clarification is a perspective which is viewed from different angles and points of references, not everyone is on the same page and questions are asking for that clarification. Those that express their negative toward a questionnaire are surly the once who do all the nodding but none of the understanding, which leads to failure and loss of accomplishment.
In my profession, I cannot be without complete clarification (as much as possible) or the life of another would be in jeopardy. I too was embarrassed to question an instructors procedure to a problem when I was younger for fear of ridiculed by my peers but that instructor passed on the intelligence that I use today, "Questions are asked by smart people, the stupid ones never ask and never learn". Now I ask and when someone speaks despairingly of my questioning, I tell them to shut-up and learn.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
August 26, 2013 at 6:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This was just what I needed today. Thank you, Laura.

Moonrunner (anonymous profile)
September 1, 2013 at 2:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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