The Single Most Effective Question You Can Ask
When you are implementing change, one thing is for sure – not everything you do will work perfectly. Taking risks, experimenting, making mistakes and learning from them, are all part of the process of moving you towards your desired outcomes and feedback is a major part of that process.
Feedback is also vital in ensuring that everyone is actively engaged and contributing their views, and ideas right from the outset. If you are afraid that asking people’s views will open a can of worms, imagine what would happen if you didn’t open the can! Their responses would remain hidden from you, but likely to surface in other ways further down the line, with the potential to seriously undermine the change initiative.
So for a simple practical way of gathering feedback, ask this single most effective question…
On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate:
- our customer service?
- the new brochure?
- our teamwork?
- the quality of our relationship?
- this presentation?
- the effectiveness of the new system?
- our new product?
- my coaching?
- this newsletter?
The score itself isn’t as important as the thinking and discussion which follows. So once you have the score it’s useful to ask questions like:
- What’s already happening, even infrequently, that puts the score where it is?
- How can we build on that?
- What would 10 look like?
And the most important follow up question of all:
- How will we know when we have moved to the next point on the scale? (What will we be doing, seeing, saying, hearing and feeling?)
This approach is empowering because it doesn’t focus on problems (Where are we going wrong? or Who can we blame?) but on solutions (What is already working? How can we maximize our strengths?) Also, because everyone is involved and all opinions are valid, the agreed actions are much more likely to be implemented.