In our quest for achievement, it's easy to get caught up in complexity. We often think something has to be difficult in order for it to drive real progress. But then something so simple comes along that drives the most profound advancement in our careers, companies, and even in communities.
I've discovered three dead-simple questions that can dramatically upgrade your results. Easy inquiries to take your game to the next level:
- What's the one extra thing I can add?
This is a question we ask ourselves when we're about to complete a project, sales call, assignment, email, presentation, or any other form of work product. The powerful question challenges you to add that extra special something that will make your work stand out. You've already taken the time and energy to do a good job, so why not add that little extra dash of creativity to make it special? The smallest over-delivery against expectations will blow away those around you and -- if practiced consistently -- can change the trajectory of your career.
- How can I help?
In our self-centered business landscape, asking how you can help others is a counter-intuitive strategy for your own achievement. If you're constantly on the lookout for how you can boost someone else's day or help them shine, the rewards will come back to you tenfold. If this becomes one of your daily mantras, you'll stand out as a servant leader, a great colleague, and a team member on the rise.
- What can I do better next time?
Especially in situations when you deliver a strong result, ask the person on the other side of the table for feedback on how you can drive even more value the next time. First, your humility will be refreshing. Secondly, asking people for their ideas and help gets them invested in your success. Plus, you'll get powerful feedback to up your game while showcasing that you're exactly the type of person people love to work with.
Try to inject these three questions as frequently as possible and in as many situations as you can (hint: they work beautifully in your personal life too). Think how much you'd love the person down the hall who constantly practiced this framework. When asked consistently and often, these are small questions that will yield gigantic results.
No question about it.
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