For quite some time in my client engagements I refrained from asking the WHY? questions. To me they seemed to trigger justification and judgement. For many us our basic emotional drive is to please others. In our pursuit of pleasing others, to win their favour, or our search to feel valued, accepted and even loved, we create a vacuous hole that we desperately seek to fill from the outside.
Often all it takes is a subtle inflection in your tone of voice to convert a sincere expression of interest into probing cross-examination. Why open yourself to justification and judgement?
These days I find wholesome value in asking the deeper question of WHY? Rather than being a Spanish Inquisition triggering justification and judgement I use it to explore the deeper pool of meaning which is the gateway to a purposeful life. WHY? questions lead to an exploration of values, raison d’etre, purpose and meaning.
Whether it be an entrepreneur trying to convert a creative idea into steady cashflow, or a performing artist finding voice and an outlet for artistic self-expression, or a corporate employee searching for a job role to ignite their vocational passion. The WHY? question asked from a place of adventure, intrigue and wonderment engenders a very different response and, I hasten to add, a response that comes forth from the heart. The heart is the dominion of magic. Our search for purpose and meaning in our lives is answered by our connection to heart and spirit. The two realms being inextricably linked.
The more you FEEL your answer, or INTUIT your answer, the closer you are to source, your source. Often the path to discovering what you seek is triggered by posing a different, more compelling question – the exploration of WHY?
There has been much written about positive psychology, values based organisations and authentic leadership. In every instance the key to igniting the passion and creative juices of your staff and your enterprise start with this quest to explore the pool of deeper meaning and entrepreneurial spirit that rumbles within each of us.
It is a conversation just yearning to be had - if you dare.
by Dennis Roberts