Instead of pointing fingers, let’s solve the problem.

As a fresh college hire at Microsoft, I am extremely new to the team and still learning the ropes. I have all this energy and I am eager to make an impact. There are a lot of questions I ask and at times, it feels that there is a bottomless pit of information to consume, process and act on. That’s the best part about my job so far though! I am learning. Everyday I am learning. There is so much to learn that at times it is overwhelming, but it is that drive for knowledge is what keeps me going.

So where does the title of the post come into play? How is it relevant? Honestly, it stems from something that I’ve caught myself doing and I want to call myself out on. I am asking the wrong questions and this is what I mean by that:

How did this end up so bad way in the first place?

Why would anyone choose to do it this way?

Whose fault is it?

It’s not an epiphany by any means, but it really is a reminder that in life, and especially in anything that we do — there are inherit problems and issues that come with the domain. Things that are completely out of our control. Things that we probably would like to think that we would have done differently and that’s the great part about being a problem solver. We look for challenges anywhere in life and we are driven to figure out the missing dots and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Instead of asking questions to assign blame, I am challenging myself to think in a new way. These are the questions I want to be asking:

Why was it done this way? Let’s understand before coming to our own conclusions.

How can we fix it?

How can we make it better and how can we tell that it is better?

How can we prevent it from happening again?

Ask questions to help you better understand the situation. Better understand who was impacted at the time of implementation. Better understand how we can detect similar problems in the future and have answers for when those issues arise.

I challenge you to do the same.