Alex Sailer

Standards: Ask More Questions

Heard of the Focus Lab Standards? One of them is “Ask More Questions.” I’m sure there has been a time when you completed a design task only to find out that you needed go back to the drawing board because you didn’t fully understand the problem. Because you didn’t fully understand the problem, you had to make assumptions, and assumptions often backfire.

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“​We believe that pushing the envelope helps to solidify and defend thoughts/concepts, and reshapes thinking. A strong idea or concept will withstand the stress test or will be better at the finish line for having undergone the scrutiny.”

- Focus Lab

I read through all of the Standards when I started at Focus Lab, but this one really struck a chord. If I was to implement any of the Standards, it had to be this one. After all, I was starting a new job and was super nervous about screwing something up. To manage self doubt and a steep learning curve, I relied on my new personal mission to ask more questions. As a result, I dominated weekly meetings with gobs of questions, and even posted questions to clients over the weekend.

Through the Q-and-A process, I learned a ton about each project and I really understood the wants and needs of the client. But something else happened: Trust. My questions comforted clients because I was thorough and wanted to understand them, and that proved how much I cared about the project's success. The constant communication helped lay the foundation for trusting relationships.

Yeah, it might feel awkward to hammer someone with questions, but there is never a such thing as too many questions. You’re only going to become smarter, faster, and more helpful to the client. You owe it to them.

Want to read more about our Standards? Check out Standards: Make it Better.


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