Recent events in New York and Washington griped our nation and the world. Through the marvels of television, we have a front row seat to world events, and especially those here at
home. Our emotions range from shock to anger to grief and then hopefully to
recognizing that life goes on, must go on!

Afterwards we may begin to ask how, and why, and it’s easy to get your head filled with facts from the media, political leaders, government workers and foreign sources. Sometimes we don’t know fact from hypothesis or even fiction.

I’m not going to offer my own set of beliefs and theories at this time, but these events have reminded me that we have a powerful tool at our disposal. We can flesh out our own answers to any tough question. If you want to get to the heart of a problem, any problem, follow this
simple root-cause analysis process.

Ask WHY or HOW, up to five times!

With your problem, or question, in front of you, ask the first Why or How. I’ll use the following as an example …

Question to customer: Why are you firing us?

Answer 1: We found a better vendor.

Q-2: What about them is better than us?

A-2: Their service is much better.

Q-3: What about our service didn’t you like?

A-3: We have a hard time communicating with you.

Q-4: Who specifically are you speaking of?

A-4: Your customer service people.

Q-5: What specifically about them turned you off?

A-5: They were never available when we needed them.

Deep questioning is the best way to fully understand people and situations. Knee jerk reactions usually backfire, and cause more problems. Like peeling an onion, each layer takes you deeper, until you get to the root cause. Whether you like the answers or not, it’s always better to deal in facts, not fiction.

Author's Bio: 

Kevin has been a life and executive coach since 1995. In addition to his life coaching practice he also serves as a Group Chairman for Vistage International, where he coaches over 70 business leaders, helping them increase their effectiveness and enhance their lives.

Kevin provides life and executive coaching to Fortune 500, entrepreneurial and family-owned business leaders, and individuals seeking success and fulfillment. Kevin helps people discover their core competencies, their highest passions and key performance measures that trigger lasting and meaningful results.

Kevin Rafferty has over 30 years of top management expertise, from both major corporations and small entrepreneurial businesses. As CEO of Business Frontiers, Inc., he shares his personal and organizational success methods with top executives across all lines of businesses. Prior to founding his own business his previous background included leadership roles as: CEO, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, General Manager and Division Manager for various manufacturing and service companies in the plastics, construction equipment, automotive aftermarket, executive development and consulting industries.

Kevin holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences from Cleveland State University and an Executive MBA from the Drucker Center at The Claremont Graduate School. He has also been active in leadership roles in various non-profits, chambers of commerce and school organizations. He currently lives with his wife and two children in Murrieta, CA.