The Benefits of Asking Why

“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” ~ Richard Branson

264245_whats_that_thumb.jpgMaybe you are one of the fortunate people that works for a company that fits the mold that Richard Branson describes. More often than not the majority of people are not working for this type of company, but they really would like to.

People cannot just quit their job and begin looking for the “nirvana company” to work for that would provide the three aspects described above.

What they can do is start asking “why questions” about the job and company they work for and possibly they can turn what is an unexciting job into a very exciting job.

According to David Allen the author of “Getting things Done” and “Ready for Anything.” Asking the question “why” can lead to change in a positive way.

David talks about the value of thinking about “why.” The “why” will help to define “why’” you do what you do and what is the real purpose that you do it. Wow, is that a mouth full.

David states “the why question cannot be ignored.” When people complain or are having problems at work they need to answer “why” so that they can define what is the real issue so that they can push through it and move forward.

When you come to a cross-road or even a bump in the road at work, ask yourself why?

By asking “why?” you can define a clear and specific purpose for your daily work life.

Knowing the purpose of what you are doing is very important. People will lose interest and drive if they do not understand their purpose.

David Allen lists these six reasons why asking the question “why” has great benefits as an employee or employer.

1. Asking why can define success.

2. Asking why creates decision-making criteria.

3. Asking why aligns resources.

4. Asking why motivates us and those who work with us.

5. Asking why clarifies focus, which gives us drive.

6. Asking why expands our options where we can explore where we have never explored before.

Reading about the power of “why” has motivated me to ask the question with many things that I and my co-workers do each day. If we ask why, we just may come up with some new ideas that are going to move us ahead in the right direction, much quicker.

What can you ask “why” about today? I have made my list and I am looking forward to seeing what new ideas may come about.

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!


13 thoughts on “The Benefits of Asking Why

  1. Children are great at asking why. Why is … Why should … Why, why, why and yet, that is how they learn. I love that in their quest for learning, they push us to answer that question with something besides because. This is definitely a great trait to bring to work.

    • Laurie, I remember the “why” questions all to well. You are right we need to be more like children and wonder “why” and also as you said so well to push to get the answer. Thank you for the comment and have a great week.

  2. Tina,

    Great post. In Root Cause Analysis they teach you to ask WHY at least 5 times. This will get you to the true cause of the problem instead of just the symptoms. As you pointed out so well it applies to improving our work life as well.

    Have a great Friday!

    • Hi Carol, I think I need to push the “why” a bit more not only for myself but also to get my staff to really ask the “why” 5 times. We probably would be surprised at what we would find. Thanks for the idea and have a great week

    • I think I might have had you in my Sunday school class. There was this little boy who was amazing with the “why” questions. I wonder what he end up doing? He was such a smart little guy he is probably very successful now. Asking why is a great thing do…we learn so much.

    • Dear David, thank you for the nomination. I will check out the details. It has been so much fun interacting with you and other bloggers. I look forward to hearing from you each day as you have such fun and surprising posts to entertain us!

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