December 12, 2008

The Human Side of Change: Asking Why

Do you ever ask yourself, "What am I doing?" It can be a hard question to answer. It’s not hard to answer from a cursory casual point of view. You might say, “I’m making a phone call, writing a letter, eating my lunch” or a thousand other at-the-moment answers. But what about the bigger things, like your job, your career development or your family interactions? What are you doing in these major arenas of your life?
Perhaps even more difficult to answer is, “why are you doing what you’re doing”? That’s the deeper question you may struggle to answer. The human side of change often begins by asking “WHY”.
Change, for an individual or a company usually starts with a dissatisfaction with the status quo. Occasionally a desire to maintain our very existence may be the motivating force behind change. When the norm becomes so distasteful, disgusting or points to our obvious destruction, we think seriously about change.
Faced with high blood pressure, chronic coughing and wheezing or a shortness of breath you may be ready to quit smoking. That can be a major life changing experience. Experiencing low back pain, high cholesterol and a potential heart attack could force your attention towards a serious diet and exercise program. Likewise, a large downsizing, chapter 13 bankruptcy or company closure may cause you to scramble toward reorganization or job hunting. But change of this magnitude is very difficult especially in a short time frame.
Asking the question ‘WHY’ on a daily basis may help you avoid these types of drastic and monumental changes. Change forced on you for your survival is difficult. Change that you make and design on a daily basis is always easier and more readily achieved. Changes that are smaller and more incremental in time spacing are usually easier and more efficient.
Ask yourself “why am I doing this, saying that, or believing in this way”. Honestly consider the answer both from a subjective and objective point of view. If the answer is inappropriate or inconsistent with your goals and objectives, consider the alternatives and make the needed change.
Individuals as well as companies who have the habit of asking ‘WHY’ promote change on an ongoing basis. They don’t just do, say or believe certain things because that’s the only way of doing, saying or believing. And they don’t automatically change just for the sake of changing. They ask ‘WHY’ and then examine the answers, thoroughly, thoughtfully and consistently. When change is warranted, they act. If not, they know WHY? Have you asked yourself, “What am I doing and WHY am I doing it. Why not?"

No comments: