What Do You Need to: Start – Stop – Continue?

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This week as part of our 5th Anniversary Celebration I am sharing the top 5 Posts of the past 5 years!  Here is # 3:

Note from Frank Lio:  I want to add my congratulations to Bob on the 5 Year Anniversary of LeadingWithQuestions.com.   Bob is an amazing leader who has taught us that having the right answers begins with having the right questions. My post “Start, Stop, Continue?” is a deceptively simple yet powerful tool for practicing mindfulness using three basic questions. Use it to take honest reflection and action – on your relationships, work, business, well-being, etc.  (It also works well with teams and groups.)  “Start” – becoming fully aware and present in the moment. “Stop” – living each day by “going through the motions”, and “Continue” – using these these questions to improve and live your life to the fullest!

Guest Post by Frank Lio

StartStopContine

This exercise is a great way to pause, be mindful, reflect, and take action.  We use the Start/Stop/Continue method to discuss processes, values and behaviors at work. I initially thought that it was corny but have learned to embraced it for its simplicity and results and now even apply it to my personal life.

It’s very useful for creating respectful, honest and meaningful communication in group meetings.Choose a topic, behavior, situation, or subject for discussion, e.g. Sales Support, Customer Communication, Being Respectful, etc. and then follow the next three steps:

Step 1. START – List things/behaviors that would be beneficial to START doing.
Step 2. STOP – List things/behaviors being done that that are not working (I/we should STOP doing them).
Step 3. CONTINUE – List things/behaviors currently done that should CONTINUE being done.

It’s that simple!  For groups, you can use a whiteboard with the 3 headers (Start/Stop/Continue) on three separate blank sections and fill in the sections together, or dedicate 3 separate flip charts for each discussion topic. You may want to start with a particular section (recommended) or you can jump back and forth depending on what thoughts come to mind.  You may also want to break a large group into 3 subgroups with each smaller group tackling one section and then have all three subgroups share their work in a final wrap-up discussion.

Here’s my (short) example reflecting on my role as a Husband (I am definitely a work in progress):

BeingASpouse3

The technique may seem rather simplistic but it is proven and works. A worksheet with instructions is available here for download.

Frank Lio is a Product Manager, Strategist, and Change Agent in the Hi-Tech industry. His growing track record of successes include creating 3 winning software products, leading nationwide seminars, and turning around failing businesses.  He is currently serving a dual role as Product Manager and Business Team Support Manager at Instron ITW.

You can connect with Frank on his blog:  Frank Lio