As a leader and parent understanding why someone did something or said something is vital.
Great leaders ask “Why?” before they settle on an opinion of someone or an opinion of what someone did or didn’t do.
- Why are you late today?
- Why did you speak to her that way?
- Why did you hit your sister?
- Why did you not tell the truth?
- Why are you so angry?
- Why did you alter that document?
- Why did you not follow through as you said you would?
- Why did you leave out the most important facts related to this incident?
- Why did you decide on Option No. 2?
The point is obvious!
Sometimes there is a good reason why people do things; and as leaders, we need to know why so that we create the right impression in our minds of people . . . and also so that we know how best to react to a situation which might include coaching, counseling, and discipline—not to mention the impression that we might have of someone if we don’t know the whole story.
Why were you late? The answer could be, “Because I left too late, and I just can’t seem to get my act together.”
“My son was very sick, and I had to take him to the emergency room.”
So the point here is to ask “Why?” before you decide to take action or create a lasting impression in your mind about someone. Make sure you know the truth, and you will make much better leadership decisions and be thought of as a great leader!
The flip side of WHY is to make sure you tell people including your loved ones WHY you are asking them to do something. Just telling someone WHAT you want is not enourgh if you want their full engagement and commitment. Tell me WHAT you want, WHY you want it and WHEN you want it and then you will then have a partner and advocate.
Just because I said so is not a good enough WHY, even for your children and definitely not for your wife or husband.
WHY???? The reason you tell people why is because it is respectful and it puts everyone on the same page in understanding what we are trying to do. If I fully understand what you are trying to achieve I can do a whole lot better job for you and be supportive instead of disruptive.
Have a good day…Lee
PS: My friend Rachid Lyazidi wrote a terrific book on quotes: This one is a good one. There is nothing like a good story or a great quote to help others understand. Story telling is a powerful concept for teaching and for learning.
“With money you can buy a house, but not
a home; a clock, but not time; a bed, but not sleep; a book, but not knowledge;
a doctor, but not health; a position, but not respect; blood, but not life;
sex, but not love.”
“Animal Proverbs and Quotes Kingdom” Volume 1, by Rachid Lyazidi,Phone Number : (407) 827-5345
Website: www.animalproverbs.com Copyright © AnimaPro LLC. All rights reserved
Oh my Gosh Lee! This is absolutly amazing and in all my years I was made to fee like I was stupid or cluessless due to I always wanted to ask why. I just want to get to the heart of the why? with this post it has made me open my thoughts that I just want to be a great leader. I do not want to assume anything. Also those that are in leadership if you ask why and they are offended they feel that you question their leadership skills but that is not always the case.
I will say that I grew up in the era that my parents always said “becasue I said so” as a child I was just looking for understanding. Now with my childern I was give them my reason why I have said what i have said so they understand the jusitifcation if it be for their safety or just helping them see the bigger picture and help their thinking process grow!
As always Lee you give such great information! Have a great weekend and keep that wisdom of knowledge coming!
This is great advice. In too many corporate organizations today leaders take the “easy” way out. They let rumor become fact….they call it “perception is reality”. In many cases, this phrase is true but in some without finding out the why for yourself and knowing the truth you may be going on someone else’s perception based on rumor and not fact. The truth is important and it will move you from ok leader to respected leader! For example, if you do not ask why you may make poor hiring decisions or eliminate good candidates. Leaders are sometimes affraid to know the truth. Good leaders embrace it, they give people the benefit of the doubt before forming an opinion.