The Power Behind ‘Why’

Tell them why image

“How many of you remember your mother telling you to do something, and when you asked why, you were given the response, ‘Because I told you to’?

This classic retort may have left you rebellious and perhaps even resentful because you didn’t receive a satisfactory explanation. As it turns out, this childhood scenario holds valuable lessons for leaders.

Leadership is not just about giving orders; it’s about fostering understanding and motivation within your team members.

Similar to how a mother’s directive may have felt arbitrary without an explanation, team members need more than a list of tasks. They need to understand the ‘why’ behind those tasks to feel motivated and engaged.

It’s crucial for leaders to recognize the value of providing context and purpose. Instead of resorting to the age-old ‘Because I said so’ approach, leaders need to demonstrate reasoning behind decisions and actions. This not only enhances communication but also instills a sense of purpose and direction within the team.

Imagine a workplace where every task is accompanied by a clear explanation of ‘why.’ Employees are not just cogs in a machine; they need to understand the larger picture and how their contributions fit into the overall strategy. This understanding fosters a sense of ownership and commitment, influencing them to perform at their best.

Reflecting on our childhood defiance, it’s easy to see the parallel with team dynamics. Just as questioning our mothers was a natural response, team members may resist directives when the rationale behind them is unclear.

Leaders can break the cycle of resistance by openly sharing the ‘why’ behind their decisions.

On a personal note, I vividly remember the times I rebelled against my mother’s instructions. It wasn’t about defiance but a genuine desire to comprehend the purpose behind her words. Similarly, leaders should view their team members’ questions not as insubordination but as a hunger for understanding.

Effective leadership involves more than simply issuing commands. Leaders must embrace the philosophy of ‘Tell Them Why‘ to inspire and engage their teams. By providing context and rationale, you empower your team members to connect with their work on a deeper level, fostering a culture of collaboration, understanding, and shared purpose.

So, the next time you find yourself in a position of being asked to explain ‘why’ – do it– it’s the key to unlocking your team’s full potential.”