We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to Politely Ask About the Progress of Something

Updated November 21, 2016

Effective communication is a delicate matter. Politeness is a critical factor in having questions answered and successfully communicating with other people. On the other hand, being polite is only one part of the equation. Being too firm in your approach can turn someone off, while coming across too subtle may not suffice in articulating your point. Politely asking about the progress of something is a straightforward process -- if you follow these simple steps.

Loading ...
  1. Approach a person at an appropriate and convenient time. Choose a time when the person is calm, pleasant and able to talk. Do not interrupt someone if they are involved in other tasks or busy with additional projects. Asking a question at the wrong time can engender frustration and pollute the answer.

  2. Ask a personal question -- about work or family, for example -- before inquiring about other issues. Pose the question in a genuine manner and really listen to the response. Disarming the person with a personal question releases their defences and puts you both on common ground. Listen carefully to the response to confirm if it is an appropriate time to continue with your other inquiry.

  3. Look the person in the eyes and present positive, open body language. Keep your voice steady and smile. Ask your question directly and clearly. Do no exaggerate nor understate your needs. Stay courteous and be ready for any answer. Maintain positive body language and be prepared to ask easy -- albeit direct -- follow up questions and acquire any other possible information. Thank the person for their time and information and wish them well.

Loading ...

About the Author

Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.

Loading ...