Posted May 4, 2022 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: Because I Said So
“Because I said so”—it’s the classic response when young people question why they have to do something. But it doesn’t work today. Stay tuned for more, next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 453 show:
This is The Perna Syndicate—hello and welcome! If you’ve ever been told, “because I said so,” you understand how frustrating it can be to hear. Or perhaps you’re the one telling someone else “because I said so,” and you’re also speaking out of frustration.
“Because I said so” makes the speaker’s authority the sole reason for compliance. And that’s not enough anymore. Today, young people want to dig deeper for a reason to do what is asked of them. Wouldn’t you, too?
I call the millennial and Z Generations collectively the Why (W-H-Y) Generation because that’s the question they are always asking. They want to know the reason behind everything and they will persist in asking for it. But in general, it’s not their intention to be frustrating. They want to know why for a very different reason.
To understand their question why, we have to understand that all throughout their lives, they’ve been told that they are unique, special, and important. So they believe they have something unique, special, and important to contribute. They want to find a better way. And they can’t do that without a fuller understanding of the reasons behind the current status quo.
That’s why they ask why. And that’s why the “because I said so” answer is so remarkably ineffective. Not only does it stifle their spirit, it shuts down the problem-solving creativity they can bring to the organization.
Tomorrow: So if you shouldn’t answer “because I said so,” how DO you respond when a young person keeps asking why? Let’s talk about it on the next episode of The Perna Syndicate. See you then!