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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.

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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.

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    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.

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    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).

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    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.

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

    Example 1

    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

    Example 2

    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

    Example 3

    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

    Example 4

    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

    • Understand your own communication style
    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
    • Communicate with precision and care
    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

    1. Understand Your Communication Style

    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

    3. Exercise Precision and Care

    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

    The Bottom Line

    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

    Reference

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