Have you ever been in a meeting and nodding while someone is speaking and said “Uh-huh, yeah, totally” when you actually had no idea what they were talking about? Yeah, me too.
Why do we do that? Are we afraid of being embarrassed? Worried that we don’t know what is going on and everyone else does know? Afraid that somehow we are jeopardizing our careers and our futures? Perhaps there is something about the person speaking that you find intimidating. The ridicule that she would unleash would almost certainly be worse than just pretending to know what is going on for a little while.
Now, have you ever been in the same situation, but taken the plunge and asked that question? And what happened?
Someone probably* went back and explained. Someone probably* apologized for not being clear enough. Someone probably* graciously helped to get you up to speed. (*The probablys in the last sentence are the caveat for the handful of jerks in the world who make everything not fun).
At NogginLabs, we are not experts in your content, and we do not pretend to be. We have the luxury of asking stupid questions. The custom e-learning solutions that we build are dependent upon our willingness to ask stupid questions, even at the cost of looking or feeling foolish.
We do not focus on any single industry or vertical because, frankly, we don’t want to. We are experts in how adults learn. We are experts in building award-winning, world-class custom e-learning solutions that promote behavior change regardless of your content.
So how can someone who knows nothing about what you do, teach other people to do what you do? Simple. We ask. We ask you and your subject matter experts. We read. We research. Then we ask more questions.
We meet and discuss what you want to accomplish and what we think your pain points are. We bring in our experience from across a vast array of industries to ask you questions you may never have thought of. We speak plainly to get to the core of what your real needs are. We hate corporate double speak.
All we ask is that you do us the same favor. Ask us questions that you think are amazingly simple. We are happy to answer them. Ask yourself and your colleagues hard (but still stupid) questions about what you are trying to accomplish at a really basic level.
- What is it that you really need?
- What is going to have the most impact?
- Do you need to invest in a big project that can create a wide, sweeping change or target specific trouble areas?
- Do you need entry-level training that is robust enough to stand on its own and get your people up and running with little to no guidance?
- Do you need tools and expanded resources to support your existing training?
Keep digging to make sure you are being honest with yourself about your needs. Asking questions may lead to more questions, but each one will be critical to make sure that your project meets all of your needs. Take nothing for granted and always ask yourself the stupid questions you need to get there.