We all ask questions every day, of ourselves, of others and in multiple situations we face in each facet of our lives. In the workplace we excel in asking ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions, but how many of us are in the habit of asking ‘why'?
When we stop and ask ‘why’, we are delving deeper, looking at an issue more strategically, and pausing to ‘go behind the scenes’ of the situation. ‘Why’ is a powerful question and one we should consider asking more often.
Let’s start by saying that ‘what’ and ‘how’ are both important and valid questions. Asking these questions gets thing done, improves systems and processes and offers a framework for our activity. The answers to these questions provide the glue that holds our daily activity together. They power the engine room at the heart of our operations. But no amount of clever execution will get you where you need to be, if you don’t know why you are doing it!
Think of the answer to ‘why’ as the big picture, the vision, the goal. Understanding why drives you towards your goals with purpose and passion. It keeps you going on a bad day. It helps you dust yourself off after a setback on the way to the destination. It makes sense of the daily round.
Here at Ellare, we go big on the why of everything! We believe it drives up the value of what we do, after all, if there’s no obvious benefit to what we do and say, what is the point of doing it? We think the 'why’ helps us on three levels and feel sure that it can do the same for you:
- It broadens your ability to think strategically
- It helps you prioritise your energies
- It increases buy-in within your team
All of that from one simple question? Almost!
We have developed the 5 Big 'W' Questions to get you started on your journey to the empowering answers. We encourage everyone in our community to practice these questions daily, until it becomes second nature and part of how you approach planning and prioritising. Try it for yourself, we know it will add meaning, clarity and focus to the everyday whirlwind of demands on your already stretched time. You will find yourself becoming increasingly firmer about not being deflected from the task in hand and better able to explain why!
- Why is this important?
- What happens if I don’t do it?
- Who am I supporting by doing this well?
- How does it make life easier and better?
- Who else can help me with this?
Learn to answer these questions every day and start to shine a light on your ‘big why’.
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