What’s up by Guido Martini

It is normal for children to ask questions. Asking is one of the most natural ways to explore what we do not know and thus build an understanding of what surrounds us.

As we grow up, however, we tend to lose the habit of asking to discover and understand who or what we have in front of us.

Avoiding generalisations, and bearing in mind that asking is allowed or even encouraged in some contexts, it is nevertheless often seen as a disrupting element. In school it is not always allowed to interrupt in order to ask questions, and those who ask too much are often seen as the “difficult ones” who do not get it the first time. Even at work, asking too many questions can be interpreted as a sign of incompetence. As adults, in short, we run the risk of becoming used to asking just for the sake of conversation, losing the excitement of discovering through our questions.

And yet, people like me, whose job it is to design services, know very well that asking questions is crucial in order be able to design something that really meets the needs of its users.
In a broader perspective, complexity is increasingly becoming an integrated part of our professional world and society, and even in life in general it is important to have a beginner’s mindset, which is the key to discovering, learning and adapting to change.

To do so, however, we need to be able to question our own certainties, make room for new information and be able to empathise with others.

Therefore, let us remember not to be afraid to ask and to try and keep that curiosity alive, like when we were kids.


This article was first published in our Cocooners N° 4


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