Tell People Why and You Won’t Regret it
Do the people in your workplace know what to do? Better still, do they know why they do it? Moving from “what” to “why” is a game-changer in the workplace and worthy of investment. How do you help foster this move and why should you consider it where you work?
Simon Sinek wrote a book called “Start with Why” that got considerable attention in both the business and church realms. It drew attention to how important purpose and understanding are to create meaning in our lives. It highlights a leader’s ability to inspire people and go beyond the task-oriented to-do lists that can sometimes make work and life unfulfilling and monotonous.
When we help people understand why they are being asked to do something we give them the gift of understanding. With understanding people are better equipped to make better decisions. “Why” is a purpose word. It provides insight, meaning, and context, it is a process of discovery, fostered by questions.
Thrive Teaching was created because it connects what we do in the workplace to the bigger question of why we do it. This is the heart of marketplace ministry, that God has called us to represent him in all that we do and to build the Kingdom of God.
Can you answer the question of why? It takes understanding to establish something. Proverbs 24:3-4 tells us that wisdom gives people the ability to build a house but understanding establishes it. We can teach people how to do and make things but if we can give them the understanding behind that, they can continue to build, fix, and create longevity. Perhaps your legacy plan starts with giving trusted people around you the gift of “why.”
In my work, I intentionally took time with a group of my leaders that I work closely with. I gave them the insight and understanding behind my decisions (the why) and brought them along on the journey. It takes more time to develop this with people, (truth be told it is quicker in the moment just to tell people what to do,) However, there came a point when they had the insight to start making decisions the way I would. They treated people the way I would, they knew the values of our company and acted on them. It has been such a valuable investment.
When I meet with them, they tell me why we are doing what we are doing. They are solving problems without me; where my capacity was a potential bottleneck, we have become more agile and streamlined as a team. It has enabled us to be more efficient and productive, they feel empowered and we are better positioned for growth. I have also found I am less frustrated with people. I have never regretted taking the additional time it takes to provide them with “the why” behind the “the what.”