“Sure you could – but why would you want to?” is a simple way of challenging the rationale of a decision.
I was quite young when I saw the famous film “Lawrence of Arabia” and I vividly recall the above conversation about why someone ought to do a particular thing. In this case, the someone was Auda Abu-Tayi عودة أبو تايه and the discussion (about why he should support the taking of Aqaba) had already considered criteria such as wealth, power, and status. All of these were discounted. Lawrence knew the key was to engage, quietly and respectfully – and to recognize how people think. In this case, to recognize the pride associated with making one’s own, independent, decision – or in Lawrence’s words, “because it is his pleasure”.
As a young person, it struck me as strange. However, since then, having facilitated many decision-making sessions I am always acutely mindful of two key things. The fundamental importance of engagement, and an appreciation that culture and values are critical to influencing which criteria people will consider significant. And further, which ones they consider to be most important.