The Five Whys

The Five Whys

February 3, 2023

Mike Charlie from Mike Charlie Performance Coaching shares with us The Five Whys

“A problem well stated is a problem half solved.” – Charles F Kettering.

When faced with a problem or obstacle we often find it hard to know where to begin in order to address it. This feeling of being overwhelmed leads directly to inaction, stagnation, and morale-sapping feelings of helplessness.

To get back in control and enable yourself to move forward, try looking at the problem in detail.

Ask yourself the “Five Whys”

(“Why?” five times in a row).


My life feels stuck in a rut.

Why? My job is not fulfilling.

Why? It pays ok but it bores me.

Why? I want more variety; I need to change careers but I can’t.

Why? I don’t have the skills.

Why? I need to go on a training course.

And voilà! Your problem has been narrowed down to something a lot more manageable and you’ve even identified the first step to solving it!

“I’m stuck in a rut” becomes, “I need to take action to gain the skills I need to change careers”.

Getting to the crux of a problem or obstacle in detail like this pinpoints positive action you can take, a direct antidote to feeling stuck.

Try using the “Five Whys” next time you feel blocked by an issue or obstacle and see if it doesn’t get you moving again!

Not sure how to put ideas like this into practice? Mike Charlie Coaching can help, wherever you are in the world, and whatever stage in your life. DM to set up your free initial consultation.

PS. Charles F Kettering was an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents. In 1927, he founded the Kettering Foundation, a non-partisan research foundation, and was featured on the cover of Time magazine in January 1933.

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