September 26, 2022

Be wary of the power of ‘Why?’

black board with wooden frame and Why? written in white chalk

Imagine you see someone, a colleague, a friend, even a partner, doing something wrong, and it matters to you. Or they fail in their task and that matters to them.

Perhaps you don’t have to imagine it 🙂

We are often tempted to ask ‘Why?’

Whenever you ask someone why they did something, you are inviting them to justify their actions and, in their mind, this actually reinforces the behaviour.

Rather than ask why someone did something that turned out wrongly, ask them what they were trying to achieve.

This is a very different question and far more useful. Then together you can formulate a different action that would get the result you both want.

On the other hand, it is good to ask ‘why’ someone did something that turned out well, as this will reinforce the desired behaviour.

Be wary of the power of ‘Why?’

“Why do you read these tips on my blog?” 🙂

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

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