Face to Face Communications and Training Issue 512
January 2021
Bookmark and Share
Point of View

"Why, Why, Why?"

Why this, why that, why then, why now,
Why not, why, why, why, why?

(c) 1998 KIDiddles.com

Have you ever noticed the use of 'why' questions is selective? When someone is trying to make a point they throw up the 'why not?' as if to say "prove me wrong." When we aren't sure we agree with someone we offer a defensive "why?" to put them on the spot. Adults often see and utilize 'why' questions in calculated, manipulative and judgmental ways. Children-at least preteen aged-use 'why' in an appreciative manner; seeking truth, pattern, and reason from their observations.

Productive planning needs the why. Whether it's for your organization, family vacation, or retirement-ask all the 'why' questions possible in the most genuine truth seeking way possible. Often the 'why' is forgotten. Case in point: two years ago a county board's highway committee recommended that the county build a salt storage facility. The rationale: you can get better pricing on salt if we can get it at our convenience rather than during snow season. The committee also suggested that they negotiate with surrounding communities to contribute to the price of the building and get lower salt prices for themselves. Thus a 15,000 sq. ft. salt shed was built.

About a year ago I ran into the public works director of the largest town in the county (who opted out of the salt building). I asked him why his community wasn't a part of the salt storage consortium. He said, "in the near future liquid chemicals will replace salt. It's available now and some communities are using it. We're waiting for the cost to come down; we know there's virtually no storage requirements and it's just as effective as salt." I said, incredulously, "You mean to tell me they spent a $1 million dollars for a soon to be obsolete solution?" He grinned and replied, "Well at least they've got a great facility for storing equipment."

Nobody in the county asked the "why?" The committee came in with the solution instead of the question and because of that alternatives were never explored.

We have seen fabulous ideas fall flat because no one asked the 'why;' we've also witnessed incredibly ridiculous ideas come to fruition only to crash and burn because no one asked 'why.' Remember Clear Coke and Green Ketchup?



 Musings and Miscellany

And The Award Goes To...

written by: Pam Parr, senior strategist

It's award season in the entertainment industry. Every week there seems to be a new opportunity for the beautiful people to dress to the nines, hob knob with one other, and most importantly, gush about how extraordinary each nominee is.

Wouldn't it be nice if each of our industries had annual rewards? A place where everyone got a pat on the back, was told how awesome they looked, and how their performance over the year either brought us to tears or made us laugh hysterically over our human foibles. Some organizations have this-it's called the annual holiday party. Alas, it's too small of an arena and most people don't remember what happened the next day anyway.

What if there were awards for:

  • Best dramatic script by an HR department
  • Best original script by a management team
  • Best comedy series by an executive team
  • Best foreign language adaptation by an IT department
  • Best animation by a front line staff
  • Best song and dance routine by a board of directors
  • Best employee in a supporting role
  • Best original screen play by a customer
  • Best visual effects by a maintenance department
  • Best direction...by a director
  • Best documentary by a finance department

And the award goes to...

 

What we're reading...

Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other by: Sherry Turkle

MIT professor and leading expert in technology and social relationships, Sherry Turkle delivered a lecture at Aurora University on November 16. Pam and I were in the audience and Dr. Turkle kept us rapt for more than an hour.

Turkle shared stories, observations, and interpretations on our interactions with technology. One of the most startling observations we quickly confirmed from our own experiences, and it's this:

Our messages to one another are getting shorter and shorter; and we are, in fact, dumbing down our messages so that we get quicker responses.

Turkle notes we have exchanged conversation for mere connection. Not a personal connection-rather simply to be linked, friended, or followed. This has required less of us and in return we have given it less. In fact, Turkle said, "most of us will avoid telephone conversations all together." Most of us will go to great lengths to avoid talking to one another.

In Alone Together Turkle examines what technology is doing to our brains and more importantly what it is doing to our relationships.

 

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this—email: #F2Ftraining; Johnsong@face2facetraining.com  or post a note on our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=pages&ap=1#!/pages/Face-to-Face-Communications-and-Training-Inc/86353212992


FACE TO FACE BOOK UPDATE:

2012 has us writing, researching, and plugging away at our adventure once again.

 

 

F2F POINT OF VIEW is an interactive newsletter for business professionals who value commitment and passion in their professional and personal lives. If you found something of interest in this newsletter, please forward it (in its entirety, please) to a friend or colleague.

The focus of F2F POINT OF VIEW is to provide brief insights into the world of interpersonal business communication. It is edited by Gail Johnson, CEO of Face to Face Communications and Training. For more information, a complementary consultation, or initial training assessment email Gail or visit our website.