Three Questions to Help You W.I.N. in Life
March 4, 2021
by Ken Jones
How’s it going? How did you “do” today at navigating the, no doubt, dozens of things you had to do? Those generic, innocent questions we use in everyday life as we interact with others rarely invite deeper reflection in those we might be asking. “Fine,” is probably the most common response we get when we ask someone else how they’re doing.
But, if we intentionally looked at life through a lens of self-examination and reflection, the habit of addressing how we’re actually doing personally could be a wonderful path toward improved health and well-being.
Our coaching team uses a simple but effective tool, comprised of three simple questions to help our coaching students evaluate their own effectiveness in a coaching conversation. And to help our students remember the three questions, we’ve reduced them to a simple acronym:
The first letter, W, stands for “What went well?” in this coaching conversation. Carefully examining the content and ultimate outcome of a coaching conversation can be very beneficial. Asking the question, “What went well?” is a great way to examine success in a coaching call. But what about life in general? If you were to pause and look at the last 24 hours of your life, what happenings, events, conversations or outcomes would you say went well? All of us know that the blessings of God are all around us, but frequently we fail to take note of such blessings in our lives. By looking back at the past 24 hours of my life—if I make that “looking back” a regular part of my life everyday—I give myself the opportunity to reflect on not only the goodness of God but on what is going well in my life. Think about it. Isn’t it true that if you examine the last 24 hours of your life … a lot of your day went very well?
The I in the W.I.N. acronym stands for, “What can I improve?” Every coaching conversation is different. And there are always elements in every call that could be done better. When I ask myself how I, as the coach, might improve on the job that I did coaching a particular healthcare professional, I have an opportunity to objectively evaluate and grow in my coaching skills. I don’t use the “How can I improve” question as an opportunity to beat myself up or rehearse some of the things that didn’t go as well as I had hoped. Rather, view the exercise as an opportunity to continually improve. Likewise, if I take note of my “living” each day, if I take the time to look back on how I did, and how I might improve, I open myself up to discoveries and opportunities for God to reveal growth areas in my life.
Finally, the letter N in the W.I.N. acronym stands for “What will I try to do next time?” The wonderful thing about living, and life, is that we’re all given the same, unchanging template for managing. You’ve got 24 hours; I’ve got 24 hours. When the clock for a particular day has finally ticked to a close at 23:59:59, the clock for my life re-sets. Another opportunity for next time to begin. Another chance to grow, learn, serve. What will I do tomorrow, should God grant me another 24 hours? What will I change?
For a certainty, the W.I.N. tool is great for students who want to learn to be effective coaches. But it can be a great way to look at everyday life, as well. I love the idea of thinking about and keeping in the front of my mind, “How did I do, today?” Examining my life with a W.I.N. mindset helps me think differently about who I am, who God is and how I might view my life from those three great W.I.N. questions:
What went Well today?
What could I have Improved today?
What will I endeavor to do Next time … tomorrow?