Recently I discovered that I have another weakness (beside being not attentive to details). I found that I am not very creative and it is difficult for me to do something if I cannot envision what the end result will look like. Whenever I do something, I need to know what it will look like when it is done, if not I will be stuck in the middle of the process forever figuring out what to do. I am more of an innovator, totally not an inventor.
To explain it simply, if I do a jigsaw puzzle, I need to see what the picture looks like as a guide before I can do it. I cannot go in blind.
Its the same in work and in life (one of the reason why I suffer in calculus).
Because of this I learn to ask questions to get clarification. I asked a lot of questions. Some times silly questions to make sure I don’t miss a thing. I learned the hard way multiple time from experience, hence I am not shy to ask questions. I know if I am not sure of what I am doing, I will face a lot of hardship trying to complete something that I myself don’t understand.
I am in a dilemma right now.
Sometimes I felt like I asked too many questions, sometimes it might made people uncomfortable. For examples, today I was briefed on how to do a certain report. The person doing it now will go for an oversea assignment in a week (he has been doing it for one and half years). And now, I got a week to learn to do it. The next report will come from me.
And to complete that report, I need to liaise with more than 15 peoples whom most of them are not in KL. Worst, I don’t know any of them and they don’t know me either! Usually I will only have about 5 days to do the report.
And I am expected to “download” all the information and experiences my predecessor possess into my brain in these 3 days and to make sure the consistency of the report.
You can imagine how many questions I asked.
Hmm… I relish the challenge. I think in this situation, it is justified to ask a lot of questions plus he doesn’t mind.
Today, I also attended another meeting to discuss the unit’s KPI. Initially I was told that because I am new, I will not have a KPI of my own for a certain period of time (months). However, today I was advised to have my own KPI too, to make sure I will be evaluated fairly and not rated poorly at the end of the year.
Because of this conflicting information, it made me uncomfortable and from my past experience, things like this will only lead to disaster later if not addressed and clarified. So I sat down with my SM and asked her about her expectation of me, who will evaluate me and etc.
She is helpful and very motherly. I am grateful that I got a very supportive boss. Now it is all clear and understood.
However afterwards in my daily reflection ritual, I became less sure of myself. Do I asked too many questions? Do I got too carried away? I know this inquisitive attitude was appreciated at my old workplace, but right now I am working in a predominantly Asian office culture. In Asian culture, questions are not encouraged. People are told not to rock the boat.
So, am I doing the right thing? What your thought about this?
Today, I also made a fool out of myself.
There is a colleague of mine who is 4-6 weeks pregnant (forgot already the exact weeks). She was taking MC & she does not feel well so a lot of people talked about it. And because I am trying to be friendly, I strike up a conversation. And I am curious about one thing.
From my untrained eyes, she appear normal. How did she know she was pregnant?
I thought she was feeling sick and when she went to the doctor and when the doctor checked, then the doctor found out that she was pregnant. Worse I told her this. She just laugh, I am so naive!
A 2.5 year old boy might look cute when he asked this question, but when a 25 years old adult asked this, its totally not cute anymore right? (I forgot about the menstrual cycle)
Damn. I really should think before asking.
And asking questions has become part of my SOP in social events as well. Again, from my experience I am not comfortable when people asked me a lot of stuff. As I have a complex mind, my answers are usually weird to some people. So I learned a method on how to avoid this.
When I met people, I asked them questions about themselves before they can even got a chance to ask me questions about myself. And because human like to talk about themselves, usually I got away with this technique. However, sometimes I got too carried away and show my naiveness. I asked silly questions.
I don’t want to sound like Pak Pandir you know. I really should be careful with my mouth. What do you say?