Hi everone, long time direct and first time manager here.
I recently listened to the "There is no why in feedback" cast and was relieved when I found out the why they were referring to was not the why I thought it was. Their explanation of how intent was not required or particularly important in discussing feedback made sense to me and isn't the point of this post.
What I wanted to know though is how appropriate it is when discussing feedback for directs to ask why the behaviour or outcome being discussed is important.
I ask because in the past I have gotten negative respones from managers when I asked them to explain why particular behaviours or outcomes they wanted were important. It got to the point of me actually being reprimanded at one point for this, and was told I should "trust that our processes are there for a good reason instead of questioning them." This certainly made me stop asking (though it also made me less confident in the organisation). I am at a new organisation now and just started managing. My general impulse is to want to explain why we do things the way we do because I think understanding the importance of specific behaviours/outcomes encourages staff to value them and to raise ideas for improvement.