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Episode 24: Don’t Be Offended By This Question

By Arel Moodie

There's this question that's tossed around a lot, but if you don't recognize it, you could find it offending!
Say for example, if you already know how to do X--you have it down pat, and somebody asked you if you knew how to do X...isn't that insulting to your intelligence?
"Well OF COURSE I know how to do that!"  may be what you want to say.
Fight that urge instead.
Quick Rundown:
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Show Notes:
Perhaps it's insulting for people to ask you about things in which you clearly have expertise.  It feels insulting to your intelligence.
But you want be careful about reacting negatively to these types of questions.  React negatively enough times, and people will be wary about asking you for help or information in the future.  
When it comes time in the future when you two really need to share information, they may not -tell you, because "of course he already knows how to do that..."
And then everyone loses.
People Aren't Mind-Readers!
It's as if you expect the other person to know your strengths and weaknesses inside and out-and that very rarely happens to be the case.  People aren't mind readers, and one guy asking you to work with Excel tables and graphs may not be fully aware that you could even teach a class on the subject.  They genuinely don't have a clue about you. 
When they ask you a question regarding your capabilities, they more often than not have no idea what you're capable of (especially if you haven't known them for some time!).
If you can't do the task in question, thank them for bringing it to your attention, and perhaps this is an opportunity to learn a new skill!
And if you can do it, just tell him that you'd be happy to help out, and that's the end of that.
The Charity Test:
Do you consider yourself a charitable and giving person?
If so, when was the last time you gave blood, or donated money or time?
Perhaps it has been some time since you last volunteered your time, but you would still consider yourself capable of altruism.  Your intentions are still there.
Meanwhile, consider a friend who has always made his New Year's Resolution to volunteer at a hospital...but never did.  Regardless of his intentions, he's a guy whose actions don't live up to his words.
"We judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their actions."
Apply this for a second to the question we've discussed above.  Remember, people have no clue about you and could be asking to find out if project X can be finished.  If we judge other people by their actions rather than their (unknown) intentions, it could be misconstrued as questioning our capabilities and intelligence.
Stay tuned and stay awesome!
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