Manager’s Toolkit: No Stupid Questions Policy

by | Sep 17, 2021 | Culture/wellbeing

You do not want to look stupid. You do not want to risk ridicule. You fear getting in trouble. You want to respect other people’s time. You think your question is simply not good enough.

There are dozens of possible explanations for why people struggle with asking questions at work. And there is a policy that a manager can have to counterattack this — the No Stupid Questions Policy. Here’s how to create a question-friendly environment:

1. Nurture the work culture of curiosity

Only one in four employees feels curiosity in their jobs on a regular basis. Yet, curiosity is a valuable determinant of performance that can actually be nurtured immediately!

But how?

Write your team meeting agenda as a list of questions. If employees know that they have concrete control over the outcome, they are more likely to engage. For example, during a project kick-off meeting, invite others to your conversation with a question, “How should we approach any roadblocks if they occur?” or “How should we prioritize over the weeks?”

Use your 1-on-1s as the time to discover your employees’ interests. As a manager, you care about you and your team staying at the very forefront of innovative thinking. A great way of encouraging more curiosity in your team is by praising the curiosity that is already there. Be interested in what drives your employees and how you can combine it with their daily work.

2. Help your people be more courageous

The world’s best managers are not afraid of making mistakes. But this alone would not do — the world’s best managers are also good at inspiring others to be courageous.

But how?

Show others you are not perfect either. On the path to becoming a manager, you have likely experienced a number of setbacks along the way, and you had your fair share of questions at the beginning of your career. Show your team it is normal to not know it all — it only matters that they are willing to ask.

When someone is feeling off, remind them how powerful they really are. Yes, it is human to face doubt and uncertainty. But the people you have on your team do countless things well. Remind them of specific examples. Tell them what a great job they did on a specific project. It is easier to be courageous once you remember your work is truly valued.

3. Diffuse defensiveness that comes up

The so-called boxer crab uses sea anemones as boxing gloves to ward off enemies. Humans respond to various social threats by becoming defensive. This response can be diffused.

But how?

Show others that you expect them to ask questions. Make questions a natural occurrence. At the beginning of a meeting or a presentation, tell others that there will be time reserved for questions at the end or even encourage them to ask questions throughout. Our top tip? Rather than the well-known, “Is there any questions?” say, “What questions do you all have?”

Consider introducing anonymous question-asking! It is important to give others an option to remain nameless in a situation that feels threatening to them. You want your employees to ask questions. Having an option to be anonymous should help. For example, you could create an anonymous question box where project-related questions are put in prior to a team meeting.

Before you set off to encourage a question-friendly environment, ensure you stop doing anything that discourages people from asking questions. Never be critical of the person, never make the answer look obvious, and never make them feel like they are unwelcome. Instead create an world where question-asking, curiosity and continuous learning are ever-welcome.


What are file-based threats?

What is zero-trust file protection?

How does Glasswall CDR work?

Picture of a knight mask with swords to illustrate our battle for being the market leader in CDR

Glasswall vs Competitors

Why Glasswall CDR?

Learn about the simple way to protect against sophisticated file-based threats.

All resources



Case Studies

Use Cases




Product help



Contact us


strategic alliances

About our Partner Program

Our Partners

Become a Partner

Glasswall partner program

Bringing File-based threat protection to your customers

Offer a richer security portfolio with the most agile CDR platform on the market. Stand out from the competition with a partner program built for you. Let’s make files safer together.

About Glasswall

Our People




Contact Us

support lines


Raising the bar on file security

We believe people should be free to open their files without fear. To click on anything without risk of catastrophe. To use systems the way they were meant to be used. That’s why we’re raising the bar on file security at Glasswall.