Questions in Compliance (and Life)

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Post by Jonathan Shmuel

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

Voltaire

I always liked asking questions. Why? How It Works? How long?

A significant part of compliance work is asking questions.

Asking questions can seem like a relatively simple task, one that anyone can do, which is partly true, but it’s a whole other thing to ask the right questions.

Here are some key points from ‘Introduction to Compliance’ first edition (in process, not yet written):

#1 Questions are tools. Questions do not indicate a lack of understanding or that you do not know what your role is. Questions are our main tool when we are required to advise, guide or approve activities and materials. The questions help us clear the dust and disperse the fog, and see a much brighter picture.

#2 Questions are the basis. You can start with the ‘golden circle’ (not my invention) – Why? what is the purpose of the activity, How? what’s the way you want to do it, What? what will be the result at the end.

#3 There are no stupid questions. We often stop ourselves from asking something, whether it’s a term someone uses, acronyms we are unfamiliar with, the name of a functionary or a process we have never been exposed to. No one regrets a question he asked (almost. Look at # 4)

#4 Think before asking something. True, there are no stupid questions. But if someone took the time and explained something to you, several times, and has already provided you with the answer – it may hurt if you ask the same question again. It may also show that you are not really listening to him.

#5 Wait for answers. Sometimes, we fall in love with our need to ask questions, that we do not wait a bit or tend to attach less meaning to the answers we receive. Check if you really got answers to your questions, notice what the answers were and what comes out of them, and then, well, then there is # 6.

#6 More questions. Asking questions is an action that never ends. Usually a good question will be followed by many more questions (and in aspiration, good questions). It’s like a wide road that splits into sideways and from there to more and more paths.

#7 Questions can also promote the plot. It should be remembered that questions also have the ability to move things forward. If the business is not yet exactly closed on what it wants, and how it wants to implement what it wants, the right questions can fix it, or explain where the challenges are, and where it still needs to formulate the idea (and generally, the business should ask itself also questions).

#8 Pay respect while you question. We need to remember that we are asking someone who probably and most likely invested some time in thinking, developing, and carving an idea. Our questions can tremendously affect this idea (sometimes should or even must do it), so we need to ask them while acknowledging the effort and time spent before it came to our door.

That’s just about it, feel free to comment, add, or, god forbids, ask questions