There is one question you can ask, in any situation, that can will improve your life. It can help you stand out in the workplace, with customers, with your employees, with your managers. It can help you stand out in school, with your friends, in class and on a project. It can help you stand out in your relationship at home, with family, with friends and with people you don’t know. Ask this question and everything changes.
What is the question?
Hold on, I’ll share it in a minute.
Let’s first understand why this question works.
Stop and notice for a moment each of the following situations:
- Your workplace
- Your school
- Your family
- Your relationships
How pleased are you with each? If I asked you to rate each on a scale of 1 – 10, where 1 means it is terrible and 10 means it is off the charts, what would you rate each? Most people rate all of these between a 4 and a 6. What kind of relationships, family, school and workplace do you have with a rating of 4, 5 or 6 out of ten? Good but not great?
The reason for this is that most of us never have learned to ask this one power question – the question that changes everything. The result is we allow life to go on as it is, just accepting what comes. But this question gives you the power to change anything. Ready for the question?
Always ask this
“What could make this better?” That’s it. Or use this one modification, “What could I do to make this better?”
See, most of us don’t look at our work and lives and ask what could make it better. We take it as it comes and then get disappointed. We forget that we own our response. We want to blame the world for anything that isn’t right when we actually have the power to change it by learning to ask this question.
So, walk into any business. Walk in to any class at school. Look at any homework assignment. Look at any meal. Look at the relationship with your brother, father, sister, mother, neighbor, teacher, boss, employees. Look at any garden. Look at any vacation. Look at any room in the house. Ask the question: what could make this better? (or, What could I do to make this better?).
This question forces you and your kids – to take responsibility for the quality of your work and life. It doesn’t mean that any of the situations or events you assess aren’t good – you have just developed the habit of always considering what could make them better. This constant focus on small improvements over time leads to significant improvements. This is how great things are developed – they come from constantly asking the question, “what could make this better?”
Ask this question everywhere
To improve things in the workplace, be the employee who always asks, “what could make this (service, operations, work environment, benefits, culture, training, etc) better?” – then come up with some suggestions.
To improve things at school, be the student who always asks, “what could make this (homework, class, reading, project, sports team, activity, club, etc) better?” – then come up with some suggestions.
To improve things in your relationships, be the one who always asks, “what could make this (conversation, time with each other, intimacy, friendship, etc) better?” – then come up with some suggestions.
You improve things when you take ownership of improving everything you encounter. All it takes is a simple change in awareness –a new habit – of always asking the question, “what could make this better?” (or, “what could I do to make this better?”). Imagine your family, workplace, school, relationships, life and our world if we all asked this question more often.