why [hwahy, wahy] adverb, conjunction, noun, plural whys, interjection (Dictionary.com)
1. For what? for what reason, cause, or purpose?: Why are you stressed??
2. For what cause or reason: I don’t know why my office is a wreck.
3. For which; on account of which (usually after reason to introduce a relative clause): the reason why she is always late.
4. The reason for which: That is why he returned. A cluttered office is the reason why she is unhappy.
5. A question concerning the cause or reason for which something is done, achieved, etc.: an addict’s unending hows and whys.
6. The cause or reason: Those are the whys and wherefores of an unproductive, disfunctional situation.
What’s your WHY?
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Asking why… repeatedly helps you uncover root causes to problems. Often problems occur, or breakdowns happen – and if not attended to, they can compound and look totally different than what happened to cause them originally. Uncovering a root cause of a problem or process breakdown is the key to unlocking real solutions.
When working with teams, one of the exercises I introduce to solve work problems and streamline processes is to ask why until we uncover the root cause of the problem.
When you figure out what is wrong and find the bottom-line cause, you will uncover ways to fix problems at their source, and therefore create a real remedy and fix it for good.
How do you do that? Keep asking why.
Need help fixing problems or improving processes at work – let me know! Need help fixing problems with your systems at home? Check out my free quizzes on the right side of my site!
When has asking why led you down the path to success? Share your experience below!