Leadership Trends: Start Asking Why

Leadership Trends: Start Asking Why

As a leader, it can feel like you’re supposed to have all the answers. But did you ever take a step back and start asking questions, specifically “why”? If not, then now’s the time to start.

Asking “why” can benefit your company in several ways. It’s why Toyota started employing the “5 Whys” concept in their manufacturing process. It simply means that to get to the root cause of an issue, you have to ask “why” at least five times. Once you understand the root cause, you can then act faster in order to resolve it. Not only that, but you can also take steps to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again. This can lead to better problem-solving and a more innovative environment.

But that’s not all that asking “why” does. When you do the same, you can take advantage of other benefits:

It creates focus.

If you’re working on a project, you and your team might be talking about tasks and timelines. But in reality, the first topic for discussion should be “why.” In other words, “why are you taking on this project” and “why is it important?” When everyone understands the “why,” all employees will be on the same page in terms of the desired outcome and potential impact on the company. 

It gets rid of confusion.

Mistakes and miscommunication can often happen due to preconceived notions or partial knowledge of a situation. Asking “why,” however, helps you see the bigger picture, so you have a more complete understanding of what’s going on. 

It challenges the status quo.

It’s easy to get in the habit of doing the same thing every day. But when you start asking “why” questions, it ensures that what you’re doing still makes sense. If it doesn’t, and there needs to be adjustments, then you can make the right moves.

It leads to more engagement.

Don’t be the only one asking “why.” Encourage your employees to do the same. They need to understand not only their jobs, roles, and goals, but the impact they have on the company and customers. This will help to motivate them and keep them engaged, enhancing your bottom line in the process.

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