In communicating, we use concepts like requests and promises to create work and create time, respectively. However, it is critical to understand that requests require two people—a speaker and a listener.
The speaker’s job is to ensure that they deliver a clear request; and in doing so, they must also understand their accountability to the discourse. Requests are often the most common cause of a breakdown, the speaker cannot assume the message was absorbed. Thus, it is crucial for the speaker to encourage questions and not abandon the dialogue until the listener is aware enough to carry out their promise with confidence. That means establishing specific time-frames and defining what constitutes the fulfilling of the request.
Listeners then, need to stay focused on the request’s intent, which means the discourse is everything. Without it, the intent will suffer.
Therefore, asking questions to clarify the request is not a sign of weakness or lack of confidence—quite the opposite. Asking questions demonstrates a commitment to the project. Moreover, questions even help the speaker better position their request, thus bolstering the entire dialogue and improving the outcome of the project.
Ask questions whenever in the role of Listener and never leave the discourse without knowing how to fulfill the promises you’ve made. Do that every time, and you’ll build Market Force.