3 Reasons "Why" Isn't Really A Good Question - especially in trauma

#askbetterquestions Sep 09, 2022

"What" or "How" are the preferred coaching questions but why?

Here are X reasons why "Why?" is normally a not a best practice Q.

1) "Why" leans more toward the past. 

It can be healthy to look at what happened that made preceded the incident but it's hard to move forward while looking backward. Instead, shift the question to the future and use a growth mindset by asking,"How would you do that differently if you did it again?" 

2) "Why" usually comes across as judgy.

"Why do you think that happened?" can sound disciplinary, like you are trying to backdoor an "Aha" moment. If you need to raise awareness about negligence, that is a different conversation that should probably start out with "Are you open to some feedback?"

There's another common "Why" question that is quite judgy and is more personal than behavioral. It sounds like, "Why did you do that?" it comes across as questioning a person's character, education, or upbringing. Instead, maybe "What led to that?" can...

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How To Leverage Habit Stacking (and a couple other pro-tips from James Clear)

[Tips and tools]

I'm an "N" in the MyersBriggs personality profile. One thing that means is that tactical things are not my best game. I guess you could say an absent-minded professor profile kind of fits when it comes to certain things. If I'm not focused the milk can be put away in the cupboard, or I may burn my hands getting things out of the oven.

I once had to have Eric turn around on the way to work because I forgot to wear shoes...

So, when it comes to remembering things that are tactical it can be tricky for people like me. It's not enough to want to add a new habit. I have to really think it through. (But then again, maybe all people are like that? I'd love to hear your thoughts.)

Habit stacking isn't new for me, but I didn't know what to call it till I read Atomic Habits by James Clear. This is a great read for anyone with a growth mindset. If you want to add something new to your life, you will need to change some things and this pathway can help.

This first...

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