three simple letters - one big word

This past week I began teaching a summer session class entitled Leadership & Business. This class, which is a part of the business core at Concordia, is one of the few classes at our University in which LEADERSHIP is the main topic. One of the ways in which my students learn about leadership is to engage in discussion with each other, which can be difficult for students at 9:00 on a summer morning. So over this past week, it was my challenge to teach them to use one word - WHY.

One of the goals of the class is to learn how to think, speak, write and read in a critical manner. It begins with one word - WHY. Another goal of the class is for students to understand their own style of leadership, so when they answer questions, they still have one question left - WHY did I answer that way. To be able to lead, one should understand their followers, and what makes them tick. That can be done by asking WHY.

During the first two days of the week, discussion was minimal, and my job was to help them learn the right questions to ask. The first question we learned was to ask WHY. By yesterday, I was able to begin to move myself out of the discussion and students engaged with each other on a deeper level. Why? Because they had learned to ask WHY.