Do you feel stuck? 

From time to time?

Often? 

You’re not alone.  Promise.

What if I told you there were a few simple questions you can ask in almost any situation to make that situation, process, project, and even relationship better?

Well, good news; you don’t have to wonder, because I’m going to tell you!

Here are the 3 magic questions:

  • What’s going well? (So we can double down on it.)
  • What’s not?
  • What can we try or experiment with to improve what’s not working?

[Side note: Did I come up with these questions? Nope! I first heard of them from the Agile software development framework, but I long ago started applying them in all sorts of other situations (see below) with great success!)

Now, what’s so special about these questions?:

These questions do a few key things:

  1. They help you, and everyone else, normalize that things aren’t always going well.  (Even when we wish everything were going well, that’s rarely the case. There’s usually room for improvement.)
  2. They represent a truth: the only constant is change.  What worked last year, that month, last week, might not work anymore.  Things may have changed.  And if you doggedly stick to “what worked before” without acknowledging things may be different now, then you’re going to be very, very frustrated.
  3. These questions help you move forward, and get unstuck.

How can you practically apply these questions? 

Oh, let me count the ways!:

  • Ask yourself
    • What’s going well in my life?  (Acknowledge, congratulate and double down)
    • What’s not going as well?
    • What could I do, what action can I take, what can I experiment with, to see if it improves things?
  • Ask others (In your family, your household, or your team)
    • What’s been going well for us?
    • What’s not going so well?  Where is there friction?
    • What can we test out to see what might work better?
  • In your meetings
    • What about this meeting works? (Content, frequency, agenda, etc.)
    • What about this meeting isn’t working well, or makes this meeting feel less than useful?
    • What could we try differently to see if it improves things?

How about you? 

In what situation could you apply these questions? 

Where are you stuck, or frustrated right now?