Behold… the Building power of Why.
Saint Paul, Minn
People are an emotional lot, aren’t they?
Telling someone what to do (or how to do it)… rarely works in your favor. When you tell someone what to do, you’re taking away their agency, their ability to think and act for themselves.
People rebel against that authoritarian decision making, even if it’s in their best interest. Sure, they might do it, but they’re not invested… and they may well sabotage everyone’s efforts.
In his book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek shows the power of inspiring action: When you start with the Why of a problem…
- You agitate the problem in their minds.
- You make them a part of the decision making process —even if it’s nominal.
- And they become energized to solve that problem.
With the solution you propose!
Research has shown that the word “because” — essentially it’s Why by another name — will allow others to cut in line at a coffee shop or a photocopy machine, even if the reason behind that “because” is weaker than Wisconsin coffee.
“Can I cut ahead of you, because I need to make a quick copy”
(Well, everyone is in that line to make a quick copy! But in more cases than not, it works.)
People just like to know there’s a reason. Start with the reason you need to make a change or a decision. It shows that you’ve thought about the problem (because now they are, too).
And when you offer a solution, they’re more likely to support your decision.
Start with Why:
PS Next, we’ll explore the destructive way to use Why… reasons it causes such backlash… and ways to avoid it.
Find it here: