Afraid of seeming ignorant? Fear of judgment? An urge to demonstrate that you know more than you really know? There are many reasons why adults (especially in the business environment) do not ask questions. The truth is that if everyone was aware of how important it is to ask questions, professional relationships would be easier.
If you were a child in Brazil, in the 90s, you certainly remember the character “Johnny” who asked dozens of questions, until someone answered “Because I said so, Johnny!”.A few years after watching Johnny on TV, by far the best advice I've received in my corporate career has been “Ask questions”. And this is the advice that if you allow me, I would like to pass it on to you buyer, who is reading this article. Ask questions to your boss, to your organization, to your peers, to your suppliers and especially yourself.
Through questioning, you gain knowledge and information which are very important trading currencies in Purchasing. For example, let's say a certain supplier is requesting a price adjustment due to a component of the material sold. You can get in touch with that stakeholder who knows a lot about that item and ask about the cost structure, in case you are not that familiar with it. You can also, for example, call your industry contacts and ask about the price trends of that category. If none of this works, schedule a meeting with the supplier that is requesting the price adjustment and ask many, many questions.
Attention, the purpose of the questions should be to acquire knowledge. Knowledge that may not necessarily be used immediately, but certainly the information will be stored in your mind and at some point it will be used.
The only caveat to asking questions is if you are in large meetings, forums or presentations. If you understand that your questions make sense and may be other people's doubts, they are free. However, never, ever ask questions in public just to show that you are present and participating. I bet you remembered someone who used to do that, right? :)
Asking questions is so important that there is a structured method for doing it. You may have heard about 5 WHYS.
The 5 WHYS technique was developed by Toyota in the 1930s, however it only became popular in the 1970s. This technique is part of the analysis phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control). Here is a basic example of the application of the 5 WHYS technique. Note that a WHY answer is the basis of the next question.
Problem: Supplier delayed delivery of material

WHY#1: Why is delivery late?
Answer #1: Because there was no truck available
WHY #2: Why was there no truck available?
Answer #2: Because the use of the truck was not planned in advance.
WHY #3: Why wasn't the use of the truck planned in advance?
Answer #3: Because there was no visibility of the purchase order.
WHY #4: Why was the purchase order not visible?
Answer #4: Because the forecast was not sent.
WHY #5: Why was the forecast not sent?
Answer #5; Because the new buyer was not informed of this need.

Root cause of the problem: Lack of proper training.

As you can see, we can continue with numerous WHYS, however, studies show that with 5 applications, the root cause of the problem is reached.

There are still two important points I would like to emphasize:
Be careful when questioning yourself: It is valid and important that you keep an open mind to questions such as: “Do I really know what I'm doing?”, “Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?”, “Do I really like Purchasing career?”. Keep an open mind, but be careful not to fall into the 'black hole' of having too many questions and no or few answers. In addition, the questions need to have a dose of self-esteem. So when you ask yourself “Do I really know what I'm doing?”, do your internal analysis, but trust everything you've learned and all the experience you've gained, even when the result wasn't what you expected.

Be careful when questioning the company: Questioning the organization, the company, and your boss can be valid, but not everyone is prepared to deal with questioning professionals. If, on the one hand, questions generate knowledge, learning and growth, on the other, they can also be seen as resistance - especially if your company or area is going through a moment of transformation.

Let's all be “Johnnys”, but as with everything in life, let us have moderation and common sense!