In Blog Events and The Blogger’s Mindset, I talk a lot about answering why. Because answering that why gives you a starting point (Blog Events) or beacon in the dark to always return to (Blogger’s Mindset).
But lately I’ve been realizing how much that three-letter word matters.
Both in asking it and answering it.
Why ask why
Asking ourselves why forces us to get real and honest about what we’re doing. Whenever I dig deep about a personal or business problem, why is my favorite—and first—question to ask. I don’t think you can be self-aware without it, and that’s why it’s such a powerful question. Not understanding the why stunts your evolution—and we’re always evolving.
But asking others why gives us a chance to understand and relate to them. We view the world through our own lenses and what matters to us doesn’t always matter to someone else. Assuming that everyone operates on the same principles as you do is a recipe for miscommunication and frustration.
And really, only in understanding someone’s why can you know how to help them.
Why answer why
People aren’t fucking mind readers.
I get you’re all, “I know, I know,” at this point, but knowing it and acting it are different. We often don’t voluntarily give our reasons for doing or saying something, but then we get upset when no one acts the way we want them to or they fail to act with the proper haste.
And rather than it being their fault for not understanding what you wanted, it’s your fault for not communicating effectively. People can’t read minds. They don’t know why you need something right away or done a certain way.
Answering why gives someone the necessary information they need to take whatever you’re saying seriously. Or to evaluate your opinion as it compares to theirs. Your opinion isn’t right or perfect or god.
People will take you more seriously if you don’t proclaim your opinion as if it’s the only solution or way of doing things. Giving your reason—answering the why—for thinking the way you do will make you relatable.
And above all, respect
Not all whys are going to be the same. They’ll clash. It happens. Stop trying to convince everyone that your why is the right one. It’s not.
You don’t have to agree to respect someone’s why.