If you’ve ever tried to navigate through a situation or made a request with just the facts, you’ve probably fallen a little short. You may have wondered why things didn’t go your way. If you’re still scratching your head over this one, you may have missed the why in your message.

In one of my favorite reads, Start with Why, Simon Sinek tells us that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Consumers, colleagues – whomever – need to fully understand the innate value to really buy-in. You can’t just expect agreement or commitment without explaining why.

This can happen so easily when we’re communicating quickly, trying to knock stuff off the never-ending to-do list of life. It’s a go, go, go pace that doesn’t always provide a lot of time to stop, give a quick explanation of why we’re making a request, and move on effectively. But let’s be real for a moment: if we don’t stop and explain why, no one will ever be on board. We’ll spend more time back-tracking and looking for alternative solutions than getting straight to the source.

Think about when you were younger and you may have asked your parents for $10. If you just strolled into the kitchen and said, “Hey, Dad – can I borrow ten bucks?” Would he have forked it over willingly, or asked you to explain what it was for? Probably the latter, right? Well, why should life be any different now?

Whether you’re at work or play, you’ve gotta be able to explain why to make your way toward success, align your team, and drive progress. Why do we need the documents submitted today? Why do we need to change the procedure this week? Lead with a quick explanation of why, and you’ll be more productive, efficient, aligned, and ultimately a stronger team, because you’re all on board and understand the true value. Take time to explain the why to get where you need to go, and you won’t be alone when you arrive.

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