Rules of Work 5: Learn to Ask WHY

When I first started working, I remembered asking my seniors WHY is this and WHY is that? After a while, I find it even more difficult to ask...the reasons were simple: each time I asked things are probably not related or deemed as unimportant, people will just shrugged off that question and asked you to focus on your work. 

While I believe it is important to focus and do your work right first, it is also important to take a step back and see the BIG PICTURE. 

I'm the guy in RED....I ask WHY!!

Anyone wouldn't be able to do the best for their boss unless they see the BIG PICTURE. 

You may only be a humble cog in a huge grinding machine, but if you can't step back and see what the whole machine is up to, you won't be able to do your little coggy things as you could. What's more...if you only ever talk bolts and shafts and pistons, everyone around you will see you as belonging neatly in that little part of the machine. But there must be more than this...there must be more than just being the little players....there is a desire to grow and develop and make a bigger contribution, and to do that, you need to understand what drives the whole thing and what its purpose is.

And the only way to do that is to ASK QUESTIONS. LEARN TO ASK WHY. If you boss briefs you on a new task or project, ask how it fits into the big picture. Why the shift in the focus? Is it a standard market trend or is the company trying to do something innovative? Why is the accounts department splitting into two? How will the new structure benefit the efficiency of the operation side? 

So, here is the got to ask why and ask the right's not just about the right colour paper clip to use or whether the leave application should be done via email or the system? It's not plaguing your boss with random questions but it's taking an interest in the whole organization and not just your corner of it. 

With the right question, you could easily makes far more sense of your work when you can see the wider view, and you're more motivated knowing the reasons behind the changes or new directives given by your superior. These questions and attitudes will also be a plus point as your boss will see you as someone who is capable of working at a higher level with a higher overview, and someone who has a loyalty and concern for the company as a whole.

So, if you have not been asking the right questions, maybe it's time to do so...

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