The questions which lead to nowhere
Why can't they do anything right?
Why is this project running late?
Why is it taking so long to fire them?
How can I do all the work I have to do when I'm always behind?
If you can come up with decent answers to any of these questions, let me know!
When managers ask these questions, they get frustrated. This is because there are no good answers to these questions; these are questions which lead to nowhere.
In a prior soundbite I mentioned the term focus vacuums. A vacuum is an empty space, an emptiness devoid or matter or devoid of solutions.
Apply the word focus to this it means focusing on this emptiness, focusing on empty space devoid of solutions.
Questions which lead to nowhere are focus vacuums. You are focusing on empty space devoid of solutions. It will continually lead you to frustration and stress.
But the good news: change the question to one which leads to solutions!
There are two general rules to shift questions which lead to nowhere:
- Don't start the question with the word why. Why usually gets you to have to defend something which isn't going well.
- Don't keep asking yourself the same question if you don't get satisfactory answers!
Why can't they do anything right? can change to What three things have they done well in the last six months?
Why is this project running late? can change to What can we do with this project right now?
When you shift questions which lead nowhere to one with solutions:
- You generate constructive actions to do
- You see alternatives
- You are less stressed!