June 30, 2005

What and How vs. Why

People talk and people listen. When we tell stories listeners form all sorts of conclusions that range from true/false, good/bad to interesting/boring.

A prospective music student is a hiring authority and how a private music teacher tells their success story determines if engagement takes place. So think about the following.

Large companies and universities use an interview method called Behavioral Event Interview (BEI). In a nutshell, the method isolates a specific past event, a success story, which gives one a more accurate prediction of future performance in similar situation.

When you tell your story, one listens for what you actually did and how you did it in a specific past event that caused you to succeed vs. what you think you did.

The why questions force you to interpret while what and how questions elicit cause, action and outcome, resulting in a more accurate account of your behaviors, knowledge, skills and experience.

Some examples:

Fortune telling: “What I would do …”
Generalization: “What I usually do …”
Specific past event: “I had a similar situation. This is what I did … this is how I did it… this was the outcome …”
Improve on how to tell a more accurate story of your past success and watch your business grow.


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