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The Rating Game

talent optimization Jan 28, 2021

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like questions that ask you to rate things?

I first learned this technique from life coaches whose conversations may sound something like this:


Coach: What would you like to work on today?

Coachee: I’d like to do a better job with my eating habits.

Think about your healthy eating habits from last week—how would you rate them on a scale of 1-10?

I’d say a 6.

Ok. What made your rating higher than a 5?

Well, I did pretty well during breakfast and dinner, but lunches at work were a problem.

I see. What would bring that score just a tiny bit higher—from a 6 to a 6.5?

I think that if I could eat a healthy lunch 3 out of 5 weekdays, that would do it.

Great, Should we focus our next steps there or somewhere else?

Yes, let’s focus on that.


As a leader, there are many things I love about this 1-10 method:

> It’s simple and memorable.
> It causes the other person to pause and think.
> It keeps them in the driver’s seat.
> Their answer may surprise them.
> It starts by appreciating what’s going well.
> It right-sizes scope for next steps.
> It provides a direction for improvement.

Tomorrow, I’ll share my favorite 1-10 leadership questions you can use with your followers.