One Simple Step to Getting Better Results
By Charles Hopkins
Published 01/2/2008 | Self Improvement
Does the quantity of your efforts match the quality of the results you
get? Do you wish that you could get better results? There is one simple
and effective way that anyone can use to get better results without it
costing a single cent.
Just ask better questions!
You can choose to ask yourself if you are happy. There are times
when the answer will be "yes" as you can feel a surge of joy and
confidence inside you when things have gone well. There are times when
your answer will be "no" if you had a bad day, and your confidence has
taken a beating. If your answer was "no", you get into a worst state
than before you asked yourself the question.
Ask a better question. Ask yourself what you can be happy about.
When most people ask themselves this question, they think of the things
that they normally take for granted. By doing this, you can shift
yourself to a more resourceful state and get out of the "poor me" state
which will sap your energy.
What about at work where somehow you are not getting the
recognition and the monetary rewards? You can ask yourself as to why
your boss does not recognize your capabilities and reward accordingly.
You will get answers to why you got a bad boss and in most instances
you can do little or nothing to change that.
A better and more basic question may be to ask yourself what is it
that you need to deliver to get the recognition and rewards. Sometimes,
this question may show that you are missing some elements in delivering
on the job. Tough pill to swallow but it is easier if you discover it
yourself rather than having the boss pointing it out to you.
If you cannot answer the question yourself, ask your boss how you
are doing on the job. You do not have to wait for the annual appraisal
for him or her to tell you, by which time it is too late.
As you discuss with your boss, if the answers are not clear enough
for you to act on, ask better questions. If for example, he says that
your report is not detailed enough, you can ask him what else might be
required to make it sufficiently detailed.
Remember that if you volunteer to ask these questions, you will be
seen as taking initiative. However, if the boss pulled you up for a
badly done job, and you ask the same questions, he or she will see it
as being challenged. So, be proactive whenever possible.
Now, if you find that your work is good and yet you are not getting
recognized, you can either gripe about it or ask yourself another
question like should you look for another job? If the answer is "no",
then next will be to question yourself as to the value of staying on.
It could be that the learning experience is valuable enough for you to
stay on for a while.
Asking better questions applies to any aspect of life. The trick is
in asking questions that will give you answers that will solve your
problems, not create bigger problems.
If you asked yourself why you are sad or why you are doing a bad
job of whatever it is you are doing, you will get answers as to what
makes you sad or do a bad job. Those are not the actions you want to
take. Ask questions that will give you actions to achieve better
You may argue that if you know what you should not do, the opposite
is what you should do. Sounds logical! The only problem is that your
brain absorbs and attracts the negatives if that is what you are
primarily feeding it. You then start attracting negative elements. So,
it is crucial that your answers are the positive ones that you want to
Does this apply when you are at social gatherings? Most definitely!
A typical question will be "how are you?" and the person replies
"fine, thank you" and that ends the conversation. Better questions must
involve something that the person with whom you are speaking knows a
Everyone knows about him or herself well. So, if you ask a question
like "what was the last enjoyable movie that you watched" followed by
"what was it about the movie that was enjoyable," the chances are this
person will be able to talk about it. Or it could be "did you read any
good books recently" and "what was good about that book?"
The trick is in just remembering one thing. If you do not like the
result you are getting, and you are frustrated, ask a question that
will get you out of the frustrated state.
You will be amazed at the changes you will see in yourself, when you start asking better questions.