One of the shortest words in the English language but have you ever considered how significant this word is?
Toddlers use it all the time, a thirst for knowledge is represented by the word why.
During our school life why is a way to elicit our understanding of a subject, a sentence or a calculation.
During interviews for college, university and employment it is the start of a good proportion of the questions you will be asked.
Once we become managers though, we seem to lose the ability to ask why.
When used appropriately by managers, it can have far reaching benefits for employer and employee as demonstrated here.
A new employee (let’s call him John) started working for a client of ours. John was a great fit for the company and had all the skills required to carry out the role he was employed for. During the first 4 weeks everything seemed to be going well. So well in fact that the client decided to complete John’s probation early!
Shortly following the probation sign off, John started to arrive at work late almost every day but his work was still top notch. After putting up with the lateness for several weeks the Manager decided to speak to us for advice. We agreed it was time to act and met with John.
After some discussion (predominantly using why?) it was discovered that John was the lone carer for his mother who he needed to get out of bed each morning. Understandably, some mornings were just more difficult than others.
Some consultation followed and a flexible working arrangement was agreed upon. John is now not just a committed member of the team but is truly invested in a business that has supported him through a difficult period in his life.
John’s career with our client continues to grow. Using why plays a significant part in that.
The Simple Take Is: Ask without assuming
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