The Most Valuable Question You May Ever Ask

As you begin to take action toward the fulfillment of your
goals and dreams, you must realize that not every action
will be perfect.

Not every action will produce the desired result. Not every
action will work.

Making mistakes, getting it almost right, and experimenting
to see what happens are all part of the process of
eventually getting it right.

Thomas Edison is reported to have tried over 2,000 different
experiments that failed before he finally got the light bulb
to work. He once told a reporter that, from his perspective,
he had never failed at all.

Inventing the light bulb was just a 2,000-step process. If
you can adopt that attitude, then you can be free to take an
action, notice what result you get, and then adjust your
next actions based on the feedback you have received.

Ready, Fire, Aim! – Don’t be afraid to just jump in and get
started moving toward your goals. As long as you pay
attention to the feedback you receive, you will make
progress. Just getting into the game and firing allows you
to correct and refine your aim.

The Most Valuable Question You May Ever Learn – In the
1980s, a multimillionaire businessman taught me a question
that radically changed the quality of my life. So what is
this magical question that can improve the quality of every
relationship you are in, every product you produce, every
service you deliver, every meeting you conduct, every class
you teach and every transaction you enter into?

Here it is:

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the quality of
our relationship during the last week?”

Here are a number of variations on the same question that
have served me well over the years…

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate…

* our service?
* my teaching?
* our product?
* this class/seminar/workshop?
* this meeting?
* our date/vacation?
* our performance?
* this meal?
* my coaching/managing?
* this book/recording/show?
* my parenting/babysitting?

Any answer less than a 10 always gets this follow-up
question:

“What would it take to make it a 10?”

This is where the really valuable information comes from.
Knowing that a person is dissatisfied is not enough. Knowing
in detail what will satisfy them gives you the information
you need to do whatever it takes to create a winning
product, service or relationship.

There are two kinds of feedback you might encounter –
negative and positive. We tend to prefer the positive –
that is, results, money, praise, promotion, raise, awards,
happiness, inner-peace, etc. It feels better. It tells us we
are on course and doing the right thing.

We tend not to like negative feedback — lack of results,
little or no money, criticism, poor evaluations, complaints,
unhappiness, inner conflict, pain, etc.

However, there is as much useful data in negative feedback
as there is in positive feedback. It tells us that we are
off course, headed in the wrong direction, doing the wrong
thing. This is priceless information!

In fact, it’s so valuable that one of the most useful
projects you could undertake is to change how you respond to
negative feedback. I like to refer to negative feedback as
information for “improvement opportunities.” Here is a place
where I can get better.

Ask Yourself for Feedback – In addition to asking others for
feedback, you need to ask yourself for feedback, too. More
than any other source of feedback, your body will tell you
whether or not you are on course or not. When you are
relaxed and happy, your body is telling you that you are on
track. When you are constantly exhausted, tense, in pain,
unhappy and angry, then you are off track.

Take time to listen to what your body is saying to you. Take
time to listen to your physical sensations and your
feelings. They are sending you important messages. Are you
listening?

Remember, Feedback Is Simply Information
You don’t have to take it personally. Just welcome it and
use it.

by Jack Canfield