Why ‘Why’ Is The Least Helpful Interrogative Question

Why ‘Why’ Is The Least Helpful Interrogative Question

Why ‘why’ is the least helpful interrogative question.

I was reminded yesterday of the potential negative impact that the ‘why’ question can have.

Someone asked me ‘why did you choose that’. I instantly found myself defending my choice, even though it wasn’t that big a deal, and they were not being aggressive with the question.

Whilst, I quickly caught myself. It is useful to remember that the ‘why’ interrogative can trigger us; it can be felt linked to our identity. As such we can become defensive and feel that we are personally under attack. For that reason, when having conversations with colleagues and families, try reframing questions.

Other helpful questions can begin with What, Where, When, How or Who interrogatives instead. If it impacts you, you can share how it does at the same time.

Finally, whilst at times asking ‘why; can be powerful. You may also begin to notice how ‘why’ questions can often be less helpful when talking to yourself. Often bringing out the inner critic without adding value.

What, Where, When, How or Who…

See if you notice the difference!

Is there a question that raises your hackles, or do you have a go to question, that gives you great answers or extra motivation?

Simona Hamblet


About Simona Hamblet

Simona works with partners, law firm owners, solicitors, who want to fall back in love with growing their firms again. Helping them take back control of their time, deal with team difficulties, complete business projects that keep being interrupted or being put off, feel energised about the decisions they are now making, & tackle other situations, that can get in the way of feeling excited about work & the future of growing their firms. In addition to high-end professional coaching & training. Simona has over 20 years of experience as an employment solicitor & partner in a multi-office law firm (focusing on staff development & business growth).

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