I remember being asked to lead several university group projects by other students.
Naturally, I accepted. But I often wondered why because I’d skip lectures (I found many of my professors boring) and would turn up to practical classes knowing almost none of the theory material.
I’d realised I could get 99% of the information I needed to know by asking those around me.
When the tutor would explain what we were going to do, I’d stop her and deliberately ask the “dumb” questions.
And most of the time, I’d be the only one asking any questions.
This had a strange effect. Even though I’d just spent the last 10-minutes asking questions which showcased my (severe) lack of knowledge, I’d find my group members coming to me for information on what to do.
Of course, I didn’t have answers, instead, I’d reiterate what the tutor said and then ask my peers what they thought of it.
So not only did asking questions make me *appear* smarter, by facilitating a group discussion, we got the chance to learn the most important bits from each other, which in turn, actually made us smarter.
Now I’ve got a rule: if I think something is a “dumb” question, I have to ask it.
...the one who asks the most “dumb” questions gets smartest the fastest.