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Business Owners and Managers . . .

     WISH YOU COULD BE . . .

fly on wall?????????????????????

STOP WISHING that you knew what was being said when something goes wrong. Instead, start asking the right questions to find out what you really need to know.


But don’t ask “WHY?” – that only breeds excuses. WHY were you late again? My alarm clock broke. I got a flat tire. My dog was sick. I had to help a neighbor. My mother-in-law showed up for breakfast. I had a really late night last night, and . . . Well, ya’see, I belong to this carpool, and . . .

Instead, ask “HOW?” Find out the process that is or was involved. And don’t settle for a “WHY” answer that many people offer even when they are asked “HOW?”

Staying with the same “late for work” scenario, try asking the late person: HOW can you prevent being late again? Can you give me three steps you’ll take immediately that will keep you from being late again? Please write them on a piece of paper and drop it off here before you head home today.

You’ll be amazed at the results that come with handing in that piece of paper.

If necessary, explain that you want to understand the steps involved, not the reasons for taking them. You can never make something better unless you find out how it got that way to start with . . . you need to know exactly what the specific steps were. Problems aren’t solved by addressing blame or generalities. They’re solved by studying what took place.

WHY doesn’t matter. Knowing WHY won’t help you fix things. Are you wishing you were a fly on the wall so you could have someone or some circumstance to blame, OR being able to know enough to be able to fix the problem?

Can you see how the first of these two options is anchored and invested in fanning the fires of your own self-importance? The second prompts the violator to solve her or his own problem. Do you want to make things work better . . . or feel like a hot-shot?

Well, okay, some people thrive on being management firefighters who prefer to flex their problem-solving muscles by finding fault with others instead of helping others solve their own problems. So, if that’s the case, just keep asking WHY? Oh, and just keep wishing . . . you might win a trip to fantasyland!

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Hal@Businessworks.US    931.854.0474


Make today a GREAT day for someone!

2 comments so far

2 Comments to “A FLY ON THE WALL”

  1. Peggy Salvatoreon 30 May 2015 at 11:40 am


    I love this post. It is oh-so-true, and it applies to all parts of our lives. I can just envision taking this approach with problems in a relationship – not “why are you doing X?” which puts the other person on the defensive and, most importantly, they probably don’t even know! Rather “how can we fix this?” puts the whole thing in repair model

    Excellent post.

    Thank you for this insight.


  2. Hal Alpiaron 30 May 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Thank YOU Peggy for your intuitive application of the concept to real life relationships. We may be more “tuned in” to a spouse or significant other, but the dynamics of communicating in ways that move solutions to the forefront and turn problems into opportunities is –and you are spot on!– not so different from those we face at work! So, “Goodbye Why” and “Hello How” . . . maybe a country song? Thanks for your comment. Best – Hal

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