Advertising
Advertising

The 3 Questions That Will Lead to Guaranteed Success

The 3 Questions That Will Lead to Guaranteed Success

Asking questions can be extremely powerful, but those questions must be relevant to your life, and you must take the time to answer them.

If you want to increase your productivity, efficiency, personal growth, and motivation there are 3 questions that will do exactly that. By taking the time to sit down and address them, you can drastically accelerate your progress on all your goals.

Advertising

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

    The 3 Questions That Will Lead to Massive Success

    The 3 questions are:
    1. What did you do today that moved you towards your goals?
    2. What actions did you take today that prevented you from achieving your goals?
    3. What new practices can accelerate your progress towards your goals?

    Before I jump into explaining how to use these specific questions I want to discuss why each one is powerful. Each question plays a very important and critical role.

    What did you do today that moved you towards your goals?

    You do things each week that move you towards your goals, and the more of these actions that you do, faster you will attain them. This question helps you identify those key behaviors, as you should aim to increase them.

    Advertising

    What actions did you take today that prevented you from achieving your goals?

    You are likely also doing things that prevent you from achieving your goals. These behaviors become the barrier between you and your target, and the quicker you eliminate these behaviors from your life, the faster you will achieve your goals. This question helps you identify the specific things you did that are preventing you from achieving your dreams.

    What new practices can accelerate your progress towards your goals?

    No matter where you are in your life, there is always room for improvement. The key is to identify new practices that will accelerate you towards your goals, and this question helps you identify new tactics that will increase the rate by which you achieve your objective.

    How To Ask and Answer the 3 Key Questions

    Knowing the questions is powerful, but that alone isn’t enough: you need to take the time to sit down and answer each of them honestly as well, as ideas and concepts lead to nothing without action. Below is a specific step-by-step process to get the most out of them.

    Advertising

    Step 1: Identify one goal you want to focus on.

    This is very important! Identify one specific goal you want to focus on—it can be anything but for now, so just choose one. Once you know your goal, move on to the next step.

    Step 2: Set up a Weekly Meeting With Yourself.

    Establish a time once per week where you will have a meeting with yourself. Never miss this meeting! During this meeting you will assess your progress on your goal using the three questions. Anytime is fine, as long as you can make it to the meeting and don’t forget about it.

    Step 3: Run the meeting.

    Now, it’s time to sit down and run the meeting. For this, you need the following:
    1) A timer
    2) A pen
    3) 4 pieces of lined paper (we will use the 4th piece of paper in step 4).

    Advertising

    If you prefer to write on your computer that’s fine as well. At the top of the paper, write down the 1 goal you’ve chosen. On the first paper you are going to write down the first question: “What did I do over the last week that moved me towards my goal?” Set the timer for 4 minutes, and to write down everything you did over the last week that moved you towards your goal. Then do the exact same thing for the two remaining questions; one per sheet of paper. Once that’s completed, you move on to the next step.

    Step 4: Develop the Next Week’s Action Plan

    On the top of the 4th piece of paper, write “This week’s action plan” as the title. Just below that write out your goal, and then look at your responses to the first question. Choose 3 actions you are going to continue to do, and write those 3 behaviors down on the 4th sheet. Then, look at your answers to questions 2 and 3. Choose a behavior that you’re going to stop doing, and then choose a new one to replace the one you’re giving up. Now you have 4 very clear action steps.

    Step 5: Rinse, Repeat, Recycle.

    You have established a very clear plan to accelerate your progress towards your goals,  but doing this one time isn’t enough. It is critical to sit down each week and to do this. You will be amazed by the improvements you are able to make over time, as this is a built-in system that guarantees constant improvement from week to week. If you improve every week, it is just a matter of time until you achieve your goal.

    More by this author

    The 3 Questions That Will Lead to Guaranteed Success 11 Actions You Can Take Today That Will Drastically Improve Your Health Skyrocket Your Productivity in 60s

    Trending in Communication

    1 How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up 2 How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late 3 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer 4 If You Think You’re in an Unhappy Marriage, Remember These 5 Things 5 Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on March 14, 2019

    7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

    7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

    Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

    For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

    Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

    1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

    A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

    It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

    It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

    How it helps you:

    If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

    Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

    2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

    Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

    Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

    Advertising

    How it helps you:

    Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

    Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

    If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

    Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

    3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

    Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

    Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

    How it helps you:

    This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

    For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

    Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

    Advertising

    A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

    4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

    To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

    A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

    How it helps you:

    One word: hierarchy.

    All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

    In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

    If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

    5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

    Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

    Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

    How it helps you:

    Advertising

    Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

    If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

    This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

    6. What do you like about working here?

    This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

    Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

    How it helps you:

    You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

    Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

    Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

    7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

    What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

    As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

    Advertising

    How it helps you:

    What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

    First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

    Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

    Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

    Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

    Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

    Making Your Interview Work for You

    Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

    Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

    More Resources About Job Interviews

    Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

    Read Next