The Power of Why
An interesting byproduct of the advent of all of us being hard wired 24/7 is that we have created a world where we are constantly in a state of being reactive as opposed to proactive. This has resulted in a lot of over worked, frustrated, and stressed out people. How many of you get just a little ticked off when you call someone on their cell and it goes to voicemail? We get almost indignant that the other person is not there at the ready to speak to us. So how does this relate to what is happening in the workplace? Our need for instantaneous responses has also led us to lose the art of questioning.
Because all of us are doing the jobs of two people now, everyone’s plate is overflowing. As a result, we don’t feel we have the time to spend asking a lot of questions, thus the reactive state we find ourselves in. However, without taking the time to question, the following results:
• Wasted time having to redo work because we didn’t ask enough detailed questions before running off to get started
• Frustration because of having to do more work than necessary
• Perceived lack of interest. Not asking questions leaves the impression that you are not all that interested in what the other person has to say
• Stunted growth. The only way to really learn effectively and deepen our knowledge is to ask meaningful questions. When we don’t do that we limit our learning
• Lack of motivation. We all are tasked with having to do things in our jobs that we don’t particularly enjoy or find boring. Understanding the why behind the task can help to increase our motivation and help us to get over the hump
How do we stop being in this reactive state and get back to being curious? If you are a manager make it standard practice when you are delegating to let your employees know why they are being asked to do the particular task/project. When people understand the why it is much easier to get behind the job at hand. As an employee, always ask questions to better understand what is required. It will save you time in the long run and also convey to the other person that you are a thinking individual who takes their work seriously.
Getting back to the why in every aspect of your life will enhance the engagement that you feel with the world around you. Happy questioning!