As a manager we are often tempted to ask ‘Why’ when we observe someone doing something wrong.

Whenever you ask someone why they did something, you are inviting them to justify their actions and, in their mind, this actually reinforces the behaviour.

Rather than ask why someone did something that turned out wrongly, ask them what they were trying to achieve. This is quite a different question and far more useful. Then together you can formulate a different action that would get the result you both want.

On the other hand, it is good to ask why someone did something that turned out well, as this will reinforce the desired behaviour.

“Why do you read these tips?” 🙂

For some other tips on constructive feedback, click here.

My best wishes, Paul
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