Anyone that knows me personally, is well aware of my sailor talking abilities. WTF is a well-used favorite of mine.
Recently, I was teaching in a class and my co-trainer mentioned learning that leaders should change”WTF” in the traditional sense to “Where’s that from?”. Immediately, my thoughts started running.
Now I would be a huge hypocrite if I couldn’t grasp why this was so valuable: Always come from a place of curiosity. So I tried it…
I’ll admit; it was not always easy. For most of the instances, asking this prompted genuine conversations. I realized this was a great question to help discover the 2% truth that we may have in common despite my initial reaction. However, there were still a few instances when I attempted this but it didn’t have desirable results. When I reflect back as to why, I think I found a couple of patterns. The first one was a lingering former conflict that I didn’t resolve. My ability to be curious was overloaded by my desire to remain annoyed. In addition, their responses only addressed the current issue and not the previous one – so I was left feeling unsatisfied and I’m sure my body language screamed that. The second one was in situations where trust had been completely broken. I could be curious yet if no matter what they said, I second-guessed whether it was honest, etc…then the results were poor.
I’m very happy that this tool helped generate healthy conversations, as well as, identify unresolved issues that needed attention.
Would you leverage “where’s that from?”