The Power of Why

Have you ever asked yourself Why

People will be doing this all the time, but not really realising or acting upon the outcome of Why. For me, I really started to look at the power of Why when I was in the Police and working as an attachment to CID. I was new to the job and had my first prisoner to interview. I remember being really chuffed with myself as I had set out my interview plan and presented it to the Sergeant at the time. The Sergeant read through the plan and just looked at me and said, “Why have you come to this conclusion“. Not the response I was hoping for. I was looking for good work, go and carryout your interview. I was then told to go away and come back with Why. I went away and reviewed my interview plan again and again. I then went back to the Sergeant with the same plan. Who simply said that I was right the first time but I needed to be asking myself Why

From this day forward I have tried to use the power of Why in all walks of life. Being able to not only ask yourself Why, but others too is a fantastic tool which I currently use a lot in my role within Schools. There is always a reason behind a child’s behaviour but children are not always as forthcoming with the meaning behind their behaviour, which is why it is so important to ask the question Why

I spent my first few months in education asking the question Why to everything I came across:

  • Assemblies
  • Behaviour 
  • Polices 
  • Staffing and different roles within the school. 
  • Safeguarding

And so much more. This really helped get to grips with the transition from Police to Education.

You can use the power of Why in all walks of life and different job roles. Below is a shortened example of how I have used Why in the past within School. 

A teacher raised concerns around a year 6 student who has recently become non-engaged in class and appears to be tired all the time. I approached the student about the concerns and simply asked:

Why are you so tired? “ The student stated that they had not been sleeping at night… Can you guess what I asked next? That’s right, “Why have you not been sleeping”. This went on for a short time with me simply asking Why. It turned out that the student had fallen out with some friends and they had been texting each other late at night saying sorry. A lot of time could have been wasted going down a completely different path. 

The power of Why is such a simple tool which does not get used enough. Using Why can really be life changing. So have a go and ask yourself, Why you do the job that you do. Once you have your answer then ask yourself Why you came to that answer and so on asking Why; you will eventually end up with a true reflection on Why you do what you do. Never underestimate the power of Why.  

If you enjoyed reading advice from Scott about the Power of Why, then read his story: From Police Officer to the World of Education, where he explains that wellbeing should not be a policy or a procedure in school, that it should be a way of school life.

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