Ask Questions Before Vocalizing Opinions

As senior engineers we often need to share our opinions. Either because someone asks us to do so, or because we ourselves have a strong opinion about a subject. And when the latter happens, it almost always sounds like we know it all, and this isn’t good.

But there is one simple yet effective technique to fix it — by asking questions instead of stating opinions.

Because asking questions helps everyone, including yourself, to better understand a problem. At work we often deal with limited information, and jumping to conclusions too soon can lead to mistakes. Questions help to uncover hidden details and understand the problem better.

Secondly, it can help you influence others without leaving them with a bitter feeling. People might get defensive when hearing opposing opinions, but questions can make them think about the problem more and perhaps change their minds.

Of course, you can’t just ask questions all the time. After all — you are a senior engineer. You should have strong opinions and be confident in voicing them.

Because strong opinions help your organisation make decisions. But only when you have a clear and well-informed perspective on a topic can you help your org move in the right direction.

Listen to everyone else’s perspectives and genuinely try to understand how they reached them. And if you are not sure about something — ask questions. Only then vocalise your opinions.