Do we need more rules or reasons?
Do you respond better to rules or reasons?
Which inspires more action from you?
Which provides a more consistent guide for your decisions?
As with many choices, this one shouldn’t have to be binary, but it is often viewed as being so.
I share this question having explored it with several of my coaching clients in recent weeks, as part of our on-going series – A Year of Better Questions.
For some this question has been revelatory – an insight provoked from it’s consideration that has illuminated a way of being that, until now, has been unrecognised.
For others, the exploration has been affirming, a verification of something they have long appreciated, and now can move out from with a certainty about how they view the world and construct their decisions.
Here’s a few alternative ways to consider this construct…
- How do I respond when someone states a rule I must comply with?
- When a new protocol is explained based around the reasons for me to follow it, how do I feel?
- Do you tend to focus more on the process or the outcome?
- How often to you pause to ask yourself why you are doing something?
- Have you shared with your team the impact to the customer/community/end-user of the output of their work?
- Are you more productive when operating within pre-defined guidelines, or when you have freedom to define how you achieve a task as long as you are clear on the desired outcome?
Another way might be to consider how you’d apply these constructs to major themes or challenges.
For example, in order to tackle the Climate Crisis, do we need more restrictive regulations on industries that produce waste (CO2, refrigerant contaminants, polluted water sources) or more beneficial rewards from purchasing renewables, repurposed products or regenerative agricultural produce?
In order to tackle social justice issues such as Equality, do we need Diversity Quotas or more education around the experience of discrimination, lack of access to opportunity and how to create inclusive cultures?
When leading a business in a highly regulated industry, such as healthcare, do we need rules that determine minimum standards for patient care, or more contact with the families of patients who have received both extraordinarily good and excruciatingly bad care, to understand and appreciate the direct impact those service level variations create?
I hope this question has been helpful in provoking some thought about how you work, lead and perhaps even live.
If you’ve enjoyed the questions and the alternative, look out for the video which expands on these prompts, coming in September 2021.
Please enjoy the other prompt questions already shared in A Year of Better Questions.
Thank you for your time and attention.