‘Ask not tell’ because it’s easier to relate by asking, not telling. Our focus as collaborators and colleagues is the teamwork and the process as well as the eventual aim. To focus on own immediate agenda and our own ready solutions can be simply irritating to others.
We need to ask good questions to explore needs and wants, demonstrating interest in getting it right. As the beliefs, understandings and opinions of people are increasingly rooted in digital resources, it makes sense to discover and respect the other person’s digital affiliations, dependencies, enthusiasms and limitations.
Similarly, understanding cognitive biases helps us to allow others their own reasoning, however inconsistent it may seem at first. For example the principle of endowment bias teaches us to expect a bird in the hand to be overvalued. By asking, we invite free expression of natural bias, while by telling we confront it.