Understanding WHY?

The question “why?” is asked at our house a lot because we have three small children.  But I’ve noticed we don’t ask “why” enough as adults.  Sometimes we just want to shake the kids and say “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”.  We’ve told them WHAT to do and don’t want them to focus on understanding WHY.  By the time we’re adults we’re conditioned to not ask why but inside we’re still wondering and we’d really like answers.  Sometimes a healthy respect for authority is a good lesson to teach, but what I’m talking about is when a healthy understanding of WHY would improve the chances of the WHAT happening.  

As leaders of people (bosses, teachers, etc) we might tend to give direction without providing full understanding of “why”.  It is just easier to tell someone to do something and not explain to them why it is important or what a difference it will make.  The boss gets frustrated because they feel like they’re constantly having to remind people to do something.  Sometimes the problem might be the boss doesn’t have a good reason or explanation for what they’re telling people to do.  But that’s another discussion.  
When I’m teaching personal finance principles I’ll talk about reducing debt or saving and I tend to give people a list of actions they can take or a process they should follow, but I don’t do a great job diving in to the “why” for doing the things I suggest.  Three months later when they haven’t made any progress I scratch my head wondering……”why”.  
People know WHAT they’re supposed to do, but they might lack understanding the motivating WHY they should do it.  We need to stress the WHY as much as the WHAT more often than we do.  A person might be more willing to do a “pointless” daily report if they understand the report is actually one that could validate the need for their job or get them a raise.  (The motivation needs to be positive by the way).  A person might be more willing to become disciplined with their personal finances if they know and understand the goals and dreams they have for their life that will be positively affected by financial discipline.  Knowing the WHY helps us endure the WHAT.  
Do you have any examples of when you should be giving a better WHY explanation or a question of WHY you’d like a leader/boss to answer for you about a particular thing?  Get an understanding of why and remind yourself of it often so that you are willing to do the what diligently. 

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