What if I told you I have a simple recipe for increasing effectiveness in all areas of your life? A simple recipe like lather, rinse, repeat.
What if I told you everyone is doing it? Would you be inclined to try it yourself? Seriously, everyone is doing it: McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, JC Penney, Kohls. And not just food service and retail establishments - truck drivers have been doing it for years, though probably not willingly.
What are they all doing? They're asking for feedback. Remember “How's my driving...1-800-xxx-xxxx?”
Now, it's popping up everywhere. Why? Because asking for feedback is the quickest way to find out where you are falling short and where you can improve for the most recognition.
Just asking someone how you are doing often leads to an improved relationship immediately because the person asked feels validated.
How do you do it? Jack Canfield advises you ask everyone in your life, on a scale of 1-10 how am I as parent? Spouse? Employee? And if they don't say 10, ask them what it would take to make it a 10.
I like the scale of 1-10 because it forces the person you ask to actually think about an answer which will lead to useful information. And it pushes you beyond good enough and into greatness. When you figure out how to exceed in your roles by fully understanding the needs and desires of the other people in your relationships you will achieve greatness.
So the first word in our recipe is ASK. And then the next word is ADJUST. Because you asked and you got some goodwill and some good information. But then you have to do something with it. If you are always asking and never changing that's going to turn sour. So what are you going to do with it?
Well, sometimes I hope, you are going to adjust so that you are better meeting the needs and expectations of others in your relationships. If your boss tells you your e-mails are too long, you work at condensing your thoughts. If your partner says you don't call when you're going to be late, you start making those calls. If your kid wishes you would toss a ball, you make some time each week. You adjust.
Now, sometimes of course, the information about what people want is not consistent with what you are willing to provide. I'm sure we've all had jobs in our lives where the boss wanted more than we were willing to deliver whether it's hours worked or weekends. Maybe your kids think you are a number 6 but you could be a number 10 if you didn't hold them accountable for doing their homework.
In those instances your adjustment may be to better communicate your value to your boss and your purpose to your children. But before you jump hastily to the assumption that you are right and the other person is wrong, take an extra moment to consider it from the other person's perspective. This feedback loop works only to the degree you are willing to adjust.
So you ASK, you ADJUST, and now the best part of the loop is REPEAT. Why? Because you asked, you adjusted, and now you are going to ask again. And this time you will hopefully get some acknowledgment of change. Most likely, you are going to get even more goodwill because now this person will trust that communicating to you can make a difference.
Too many times in our lives we feel like we are spinning our wheels and we are not making progress or we are not being recognized and it turns out it is because we were not aware that the things we were doing were not what the other wanted or needed at the time.
Ask, Adjust, Repeat. It takes all the guesswork out of your relationships and gives you the information you need to succeed.
Ask, Adjust, Repeat. A simple recipe for effectiveness.