Four field-tested questions to improve yourself in anything

Recently, I field tested four questions to gather input from my team at work about how I’ve been performing.

The insights they provided were significant epiphanies for me. Given the results, I wondered if these questions could be applied to other roles I am performing (wife, mother, daughter, friend, etc).

Based on the magnitude of the transformative information I received, I offer these to you in the hope that you’ll give them a spin.

  • What works for you about my [leadership style, mothering, wife-ing, friend-ing] and you’d be sad to lose?
  • What drives you crazy, makes you do an ‘internal eye-roll’, or is what you vent to your partner/spouse/friend about when I’m not there?
  • What micro-adjustments could I make that would make a huge difference?
  • What would look different for me at the next level? *Note: I used a professional title (VP), but when applying to other roles, you can simply cite ‘when I’m doing this even better’ (or something along those lines)

Contrast these questions to the standard performance questions. These aren’t bad questions. But, I’d answer these questions very differently than the questions above…even though both sets are designed with the same outcome in mind.

  • What competencies or values have you seen this employee demonstrate in your work together?
  • Describe what this employee has done to contribute to your success or the success of others?
  • What should this employee continue doing?
  • What should this employee consider changing?

When it comes to feedback, I prefer direct, punchy, and specific. Which is exactly what I got with the first set of questions. I want to know how my behavior impacts the individuals I interact with at an emotional level. As Maya Angelou said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

I also welcome the fact that I am a work in progress. Just like a yoga pose, a slight differentiation in balance, eye gaze, or alignment is the difference between doing it correctly and getting hurt.

So it is with how we show up in life. Often, all we need is a ‘teacher’ to show us the proper form. We are surrounded by teachers. All we need to do is ask. It could be the difference between hurting ourselves and living into our potential.

What questions have you asked to others that have given you insight, built self-awareness, and helped you grow?


  1. I love this, Amy. I try to remember to ask my team what I could do differently to better support them. I will give some of your questions a whirl! Thank you!

  2. Great advice Amy. I need to do stay on the wagon and make this a habit.

    Thank you!

  3. Great questions. Thanks for sharing!

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