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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 results.

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 act on.

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 lot about.

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.