by Mark Sanborn
The secret to dramatic improvement can be summarized with one word:
Everyone likes better: better relationships, better health, better jobs, better everything.
Ever heard anyone say, “Please, don’t make it better!” Nope.
Customers want better. They like it when they get more in the way of services and benefits, especially when they don’t have to pay more to enjoy them.
Sometimes we get better quickly…in a big way…but not usually.
More often than not, better is small and steady. Lots of little things done better over time create a big improvement.
Want to be 200% better? Good luck. Go ahead and try, but you’re fighting tough odds.
Why not be 5% better each week for the next 20 weeks? That’s much more realistic. Much more doable.
To get better, ask better questions.
Here’s the first: what is “better”?
Like the Germans say, all progress is change but not all change is progress. “Different” and “better” aren’t always the same.
Define the improvement. Quantify “better.” You can’t hit a target you can’t see. You don’t get better by accident.
Who decides what is better? You can, for starters. How do you want to improve? What do you want to become?
In the marketplace, customers want a say in defining better. Ever had a brilliant idea that you thought was amazing and the customer thought was…not so good?
As your customer or client what better looks like. They’ve probably got some good ideas.
Understand what better is before you start pursuing it.
Then ask this question: what would make me better?
Ask yourself. I’m sure you’ve got ideas. But ask others. Others who know.
Coworkers. Colleagues. Your boss. Family members.
Just make sure they care for you enough to tell you the truth. Many people will dodge the question or blow smoke. They don’t want to offend you.
If you don’t want to know, don’t ask. But if you’re really committed to improving yourself, those who truly love you can give you some suggestions.
Finally, in this simple one word exercise for dramatic improvement, ask this question: what will I do better today?
Doing everything better is practically impossible (even though it seems like a great idea to over-achievers).
Consider: not everything needs to be improved. Really. Sometimes good is good enough. You can only submit accurate expense reports. If they’re done neatly and on time, there isn’t much room for doing them better.
Pick at least one thing you can do better today. Don’t pick 3 or 4. Too many priorities aren’t much better than no priorities at all.
Commit to doing one thing better today, and you’ll improve. And you’ll have a better day…and a better life.
What will you do better today?