Ever seen one of these devices?
If you’re an avid concert or amusement park goer you probably have. The classic “people counter.”
I wish I had one of these on my person at all times…well…more like I wish I had an app that integrated with Siri and every time someone said to me “I have a stupid question.” it would tick.
My blood pressure raises every time I hear that phrase.
“I have a stupid question.”
But not for the reason you might think… Any person who walks up to you and starts with “I have a stupid question” is telling you something.
Here are some of the things I’ve “heard” from that statement:
- “I really don’t want to be asking you this because I really wanted to figure it out on my own but I couldn’t and I’m super bummed.” = Disappointment in themselves
- “God I feel like such a technology idiot.” = Self doubt
- “Ugh I feel so bad interrupting this person for something that is probably sooooo simple and easy for them.” = Shame / Low self esteem
And there are many, many more.
My blood pressure raises because no one should feel this way. If someone is approaching an IT professional with this attitude then another geek is to blame…maybe it’s a genius at Apple, a Best Buy tech, an IT professional at another company, a nephew who is “good at computers” who made an off-handed comment, and the list goes on.
I don’t care if someone is 8 or 80 years old, technology is a language to learn. Some of us are blessed with learning it a very young age, and many many more do not get the opportunity.
Next time you hear, “I have a stupid question.” I challenge you to respond with “There is no such thing as a stupid question…who made you believe that?” Start a conversation, a daring conversation that builds trust and confidence.
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
― Madeleine L’Engle