This is the question all kids want the answer to, and the one that keeps me up at night pondering. In my last coach certification, however, Rusty from Anger.org suggested that why is a shaming question.
Have you ever had someone accuse, “Why are you questioning me?” when all you were doing was asking a question (there is a difference)? It is usually the “Why?” that evokes this defensiveness. It’s like it’s none of your business why I did something but if I were to be truly honest I might not even know why I did it.
It is the reason why that gives us motivation, but motivation typically comes from pain and pleasure: Humans are motivated to move away from pain and toward pleasure. Purpose can be both kinds of motivator, so in coaching it is important to always ask why a goal is important.
We also often ask, “How will you know you’ve achieved it?” to get at measurable results.