How important it is to explain "Why". A story.

We went for a shopping with my wife to a mall. We were standing at a cashier, when suddenly there was a notice: "Everyone leave the building".

Even though the notice sounded quite seriously, an interesting situation happened. A few people from other cashiers started to run away. Our cashier kept sitting and doing her job. Customers in our queue didn't move. I and my wife stayed in the queue, because it wasn't clear what is happening. An assistant next to us was cleaning his cash register. I asked him if we are supposed to leave. He said yes, but he kept cleaning his register. He didn't seem to be any kind of panic or urge to leave the building.

After a few minutes, there was another notice, that everything was ok and we could continue our shopping. Those people that had been running away before, were now running back to their carts and baskets even faster.

Lesson learned from the story - always explain the "WHY"

The experience in the mall was a great example of how important it is to explain why you want someone to do something. Even a very simple task like "leave a building" can be confusing for people. Why do they want it? Gas leaking? Bomb? Fire? Poisoned water? Robbery?

Imagine telling your employee to clean his desk. How is he supposed to understand it? Wipe the dust? Put the stuff in order? Put the papers back to the drawer? And why does he need to do it? A boss coming for a visit? A worker upgrading the PC? Even a very simple request is confusing for us, if we are not given the reason why we are supposed to do it.

Your clients need to know the "Why" too!

Consider you sell a product, and you compete with price. Are you sure, your target market cares about the price? What if, there much more important factors in their decision process? What if your service is of more difficult nature. Do your potential client understand how the product can be helpful for them?

Do your prospects have a choice? Most likely yes. Then, why should they work with you?

Back to our story

The notice at the mall asked us to leave the building, but there was no information about the reason they asked us to do so. And the result? Many of us were confused. Many of just didn't want to run away because others did. The mall management might have wanted not to create a panic. However, the result was half panic, half chaos.

Remember, if you don't explain the why, and you concentrate on what or how, you will definitely confuse the listener. The action he takes or the result he delivers may be significantly different than what you expected.

If you want to improve the communication of your "Why" and align it with your internal motivation, contact us and let's have a talk!