S:1183 Distinction: Why vs. Should

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Imagine (or remember) someone lecturing you, perhaps while shaking their finger at you, and telling what you should do, should have done, shouldn’t do, or shouldn’t have done. What kind of feelings does that image evoke in you? Yeah, probably not too good.

Now think of a time when someone taught/guided/mentored you to understand a ‘why’. You knew they were there to help you learn and grow. How did that supportive experience feel? Probably a lot better than the other one.

Any time you are ‘should on’ you have an automatic push-back reaction. A should is confrontational, perhaps even judgmental and maybe demeaning. You shrink. It rarely helps you move the ball forward.

But when someone helps you understand ‘why’ you buy into their input, pulled forward to interact with them to gain the most from the experience. You expand.


Coaching Point: Okay, that was from the perspective of you experiencing a Why instead of being Should-on. Now turn it around. When you talk with others do you help them understand Why or do you just Should-on them?


Copyright 2018 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.