Perhaps you have heard it as often as me, at university, seminars, conferences, meetings: “There are no stupid questions.” I used to nod my head too, but now I’m not so sure.

“Sergeant, I’ve pulled the pin on this thing. What should I do next?”

“Should I take the customer’s payment when I don’t have my official receipt book?”

“I want a job that’s really fun and pays a lot. What should I do?”

It may be that our business is serious enough, but it is only when we take ourselves too seriously that we become hesitant in asking risky questions. Perhaps though, it is a matter of how we phrased our statement, “No stupid questions.” What we need to encourage, demand where appropriate is that people must ask questions, even those where someone makes a face or laughs in ours. After all, would you rather be the sergeant who hears the question or is handed the live grenade?