3 Simple Questions and the Most Impactful Management Tool You’ll Ever See!

One of the simplest and most impactful management tools I’ve ever seen is the Stop-Start-Continue framework. It’s so powerful and easy to use that I’ve used it quite successfully in my own business as well as with all of my leadership coaching clients before concluding our coaching programs. 

Most of the leaders I know – and yes, that includes me! – get so wrapped up in their day-to-day busy-ness that they neglect to take the time to think more critically and strategically on any regular basis. Work becomes a constant stream of unplanned conversations and reactive tasks that the year is nearly half over before you realize it. By the time you pause to catch your breath and you do realize it, it seems too late to accomplish many if not all of your strategic objectives for the year.

If this sounds familiar, I invite you to institute this powerful business practice with your direct reports and fellow Leadership Team members. It will enable you to continuously assess where you are and where you intend to be just by asking three simple questions.

  1. What are my key strengths? What should I CONTINUE doing as a leader based on the positive results I am already achieving?
  2. What are my potential areas for improvement? What should I START doing as a leader based on the positive results I expect to achieve?
  3. What are my greatest challenges? What should I immediately STOP doing as a leader based on the poor results I am producing?

While I prefer to reverse the order of the questions, most commonly refer to this management approach as the Stop-Start-Continue framework. I just feel it’s less threatening and more effective to invite positive feedback first and move into constructive feedback from there. That’s especially true when you use this framework to manage the performance of your direct reports and/or fellow team members as opposed to the self-assessment model offered here.

However you use it and in whatever order, I assure you that you will see a marked difference in your performance and the broader business results you achieve by incorporating this discipline for reflection and future-focused deliberation into your regular routines. In fact, it provides a fabulous foundation for your one-to-one meetings with your direct reports each quarter, or even every month!

Posted in Business Practice, Deliberation, Direct Reports, Leadership, Management, Management Tool, One-to-One, Performance, Planning, Reflection, Stop-Start-Continue
One comment on “3 Simple Questions and the Most Impactful Management Tool You’ll Ever See!
  1. I am glad to be reminded of this tool which I have used successfully in brainstorming sessions in the mid nineties.Unfortunately,I do not remember its origin or originator!Can you help?

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