Thursday, April 06, 2017

Start With Why


We were at the CME Dare to Compete Conference last month and the closing keynote speaker, Stephen Shedletzky, really got me thinking. He talked about Simon Sinek’s theory, “Start with Why”. Do you ever have difficulty convincing people to do something even though you know it is for the best? He said most people make the mistake of explaining WHAT to do or HOW to do something and they expect people to get on the same page as them. But in reality, the WHAT or HOW doesn’t really matter. What matters most is the WHY. And if you can convince people of the WHY, then the WHAT and HOW can easily follow. And I realized in that moment, that this line of thinking has been holding me back my entire life. I’m an engineer, I live in the HOW. But I realized that this is not the way to engage others.

start with why

I started thinking about how I often have trouble explaining to people what we do at Workplace Engineering Solutions. I focus on telling them about machine hazards, the risk assessments, the custom designed guarding solutions. And while some people understand, many stare at me blankly and I often wonder “how can I explain this better?”. But I’ve been going about this completely backwards. I should really be telling them why we do what we do. At Workplace Engineering Solutions, we care about people going home in one piece after every work day, we want mothers and fathers to always have the ability to play with their kids, we want husbands and wives to go to work each day and not have to worry about their spouse, we want companies to be confident that they are doing their best to keep their workers safe, we want managers to spend their resources wisely and install the right guards on machines the first time, we want people to be able to do their jobs safely, we want manufacturing and business to prosper in the Prairies.

Now, does that make more sense? I sure think it does. Try this exercise the next time you are trying to convince your manager to approve an expense, or your employees to work safely or your kids to do the dishes. The same concept can work in all aspects of life. The WHY is what really matters, isn’t it?


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 4:47 PM


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