Anyone who has been around a young person will be familiar with the question why, as they all seem to go through a phase where that is there favourite question. Recently though I read an article that changed my opinion on the benefits of the question. Think for a moment about the young person, you ask them to do something and invariably you are met with the question “why?” You then give them an answer, which you think explains but they come back at you with the same question again. That is their way of learning, to keep asking the question until they feel that they understand fully. Now let’s consider your team… Is it right for them to be more childlike and use the “why?” question more?
Your natural reaction, I will bet was to say no. But I would suggest that the answer is yes. Businesses can often get caught up in doing things in a certain way out of habit, and fail to step back from time to time and review their processes.
That is where it is good, particularly for newer people in your organisation, to sometimes stop and ask why things are being done the way you do them. It encourages you to look at whether this is the most effective way of doing things, or if you have just become complacent.
So it can help you be more innovative and perhaps even cut your costs. But there is also another time when asking the why question more often can be really helpful. How about when you have a problem that you need to address… This is where you could implement the “Five Whys” process. Consider this example…
The letters didn’t get sent out to clients, “why?” because there were problems with the printer, “why?” because it jammed again and the engineer didn’t get here in time, “why?”… By the time you get to your fifth “why,” that is when you get to the root cause of the problem which is the best one to address.
Let me know about your experiences of using “why?” and how it helped you, by typing them into the box below. helping them to improve their businesses, their teams and ultimately their lives. This has provided me with a strong understanding about how to improve a business and build an effective team.
That is why I created SMART Support for Business Ltd. I am committed to helping business owners to achieve their goals and improve their businesses, their results and their teams. Whether that is by supporting you to take that step back and look at your business strategy, or formalise your business goals and to plan that first step; to understand what is really driving the results and what systems are helping or lacking; helping to give you a better understanding of the people in your team; or maybe even recruiting the right person for your business the first time.