These two words can be the downfall of any organization looking to change the way they do things. If people don't understand why you do things the way you do them, then they are not likely to do anything you ask them to do. Simon Sinek (2009) studied many businesses and wrote a book about what he noticed the successful businesses did. The most successful businesses were the ones that clearly communicated the WHY behind their business for the employees and customers. They reached people's hearts and beliefs.
Simon labeled what he found as the Golden Circle and explained that WHY is located at the center surrounded by HOW and WHAT. This diagram also matched our brains with the Limbic portion of our brains also located at the center of our brain surrounded by the Neocortex. The Limbic portion controls feelings such as trust and loyalty. I think of it as my gut feelings, I can't put into words why I feel the way I do and that is how the why effects people. It just speaks to them on the emotional level.
When someone believes in your why they are more likely to remain loyal to you, your business, or your ideas. If you clearly communicate your WHY of your business or organization then HOW you do that followed with WHAT you do, you reach people on that emotional level. Your customers or employees may not be able to explain why they follow your or work for you because emotions are hard to put into words. They may even say they just have a feeling, this is an indication that they believe in your WHY.
My position as a technology integration specialist can be seen as unnecessary to most teachers and it's important for me to communicate why I am there and what I can do. I especially need teachers to understand that I know they have a lot on their plates and that they don't have the time to play and learn all the new apps out there, so that's what I do. I explore the apps and help to incorporate the ones we want to use. I never want teachers to feel pressured to use the different apps and devices, I want it to be an organic experience of mutual learning.
I help teachers determine which skills need improvement and we work together to develop a plan of integration. I am always available to try new things in the classroom and I love going into the classroom to model how to use apps and help to work out the kinks, making the process as smooth as possible to maximize student engagement.
Hopefully, by understanding my WHY, you will join me in trying new things in the classroom this year. I'm here for my teachers and I'm excited for the new school year to start!
Sinek, S. (2009). Start with why. United States: Portfolio.
Images created by me using Bimoji.com and Google Drawings