A smile dropped on my lips when I thought about this topic. The inquisitive ones would ask “what is it about the 5 wives and 1 husband”? which tribe practices that? What culture encourages this act? At which clime is this acceptable? And many more understandable questions continue to flow. You all are not wrong in your flow of thoughts, and it interests me to say that my 5 wives and 1 husband simply connote the 5Ws and 1H. 5 wives and 1 husband is a mnemonic to remember the rule that guides problem-solving and helps in decision making. It is a rule that helps to improve your writing skills. You may be confused sometimes as to where to start a speech or how to start a write-up, the 5wives and 1 husband is a tested and proven technique that works over the years. Scholars have benefitted a great deal with this simple technique, anyone can use it with no restriction to status or educational background. It is a hands-on tool for everyone.
I am a living testimony to the use of this rule and how it has helped in improving my direction of thought when writing and when speaking, whether in the public space or amongst counterparts. In contributing to any discussion or preparing any write-up, there should be a clear thought and direction which brings us to the use of the 5W and 1H.
5W represents What, Where, When, Who, why and 1H represents How. What are we talking about in a matter? In a simple essay writing, for instance; writing about your best investment mentor; What addresses what you are talking about in the essay writing (the scope of the discussion),Where, speaks to the place or location, when speaks to a time of the first meeting or frequency in communicating with the person; why speaks to the reason for the chosen the mentor, who speaks to the subject matter that you are talking about (the mentor) or any other participants in the essay, and the how speaks to how you the mentor has affected you either positively or otherwise.
The way you define your challenge or problem will influence your chances of finding the keys to success or solutions. I remember what happened during the last team-building event we did at work a couple of weeks ago. The facilitator had hardly started to explain what the challenge was, nearly everybody had already started to discuss, prepare and even implement a solution. A lot of important information was missed, nobody took the time to look around whether the context could help, and nobody could remember how much time we had to finish it. During the exercise, nobody looked at the clock or questioned some of the initial statements. It ended in a chaotic situation until we decided to (re-)analyse the problem properly and apply a strategy somehow.
There are several ways of tackling issues or getting a bearing to understanding the context of a situation. I have learned this rule and it has been a lifesaver in instances when I am clouded as to start a conversation or writing. The mnemonic rule has never failed in its rescue. It helps you from the start point to the end of your flow of thought, so make it handy for what you do not use, you lose.