We all want to improve in business, but we often don't know what it will take. Whether you're in sales, management, or leadership doesn't matter. It happens to all of us!
If you've ever struggled with something—whether in business or your personal life—you could benefit from asking yourself the question, "What if?"
In recent years, I've discovered that's one of the most powerful questions people can ask themselves. Let's look at an example where that question blew people away, then talk about how you can apply it yourself.
Recently I was at a speaking engagement. The event was with a bunch of people in the same industry, one that sometimes had a bad reputation.
As I was speaking, I said to the group, "Tell me about how you all introduce yourself. When you're at an event, and someone asks what you do, what do you say?"
Several people answered, all with similar responses. I asked, "How many of you have seen people physically recoiled when you introduced yourself like that?"
"Yeah," they replied, "we hate it when that happens."
Next, I asked, "What if there was a different way to introduce yourself that started a conversation rather than ending it?"
Everyone leaned in. I ended up sharing a few examples, and people's jaws dropped.
Assuming rather than questioning
The point of that story isn't the specific tips I gave them for better introductions. Instead, it was the power of asking, "What if?"
So often in business, there are ways to do something better, and it doesn't even occur to us to ask. We're doing something the way we've always done it or the way someone else told us to do it. We're assuming rather than questioning!
Whenever I have a conversation with a manager, a leader, or a salesperson, I recommend a tool, strategy, tactic, or system they didn't know about.
The response is typically something like, "I never knew that existed!" They respond that way because they never asked themselves, "What if there was something that could help me with this problem?”
Where do you need to improve? Where do you need to be more efficient, more effective, better, or faster?
The best way to continually improve is to ask yourself, "What if?" Combine that question with an ongoing investment in things like:
- Professional coaching and consulting
Whether you're talking about your role in your business, your nonprofit, or your family, asking "What if?" can be challenging, but it's nearly a guaranteed method for continual growth.