The Most Important Question to Ask Yourself

If there were one key question to ask yourself to gauge your relationships and your effectiveness, what do you think it would be? How can you really know how others view you? How can you know that you’re being the best person you can possibly be?

Self-evaluation is critical for personal growth. After all, you can’t improve unless you know what to improve upon. This is true for all aspects of life, whether on the job or within your family. Of course, self-reflection and self-assessment can be difficult. Libraries are filled with hundreds of books on the topic, each offering their own version of how to do it effectively.

But what if there were a simpler way? A single question to ask yourself that could help you pinpoint your growth areas?

A Question for Self-Reflection

Several years ago, a school principal contacted me for advice. He was trying to put together a way for the teachers at his school to reflect on their year and to self-evaluate. He wanted it to be something that was doable, that wouldn’t feel overwhelming in its scope or the time it would take for them to complete, and that would feel meaningful and help guide their work for the following year.

My suggestion was this: Pose the following question to your teachers. “If I were a student, would I want me as a teacher?” Then, whether your answer is yes or no,  list the reasons for your response.

Of course, this question isn’t just for teachers. You can re-frame it for any situation or relationship, as in:

  • If I were a child, would I want me as a parent?
  • If I were an employee, would I want me as a boss?
  • If I were married, would I want to be married to me?

Be honest with your answers. This simple question to ask yourself can yield tremendous insight.

Tip: Give this question a try for each relationship or role you fill. You’ll find that a little self-reflection goes a long way to your future success.