What can help a great deal is before launching into asking why, saying something to preface your “why” question, can help people respond appropriately. It could be something like, “In the spirit of working through the causal chain can we ask why? Do we know why the process is the way it is?” This can help set the context behind why you are asking why, and it can help a great deal.

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner & Executive Advisor at GoLeanSixSigma.com. For almost 20 years, she's helped leading organizations like Washington State, Cisco and GE build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.