The 10/10 Technique

A colleague of mine loves to teach managers a simple, yet effective way of gathering feedback and ideas for improvement. It’s so simple it only takes about two minutes to explain it to someone. Yet it’s so effective, it’s led to dramatic improvements in leadership capability. Really, I have the testimonials to prove it.
Once someone learns it, they become evangelists for it and can’t wait to share it with others.

I’m not sure who is the originator of the technique – if anyone knows, please let us know so I can give credit. It may have been Jack Canfield, in his book The Success Principles, but I don’t have a copy to verify.

Got your attention? OK, it’s called the “10/10” technique.

Although it can be used for self-improvement in a lot of ways, we use it for leadership development as follow-up to a 360 degree assessment.

First, the manager identifies something they want to improve – say leading a meeting, delegating, listening, or conducting a one on one. Although not as effective, it could even be as general as “leadership”.

Then, at the end of a one on one, or whenever the opportunity presents itself (it only takes about 10 minutes), the manager asks the question: “On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate my delegation skills?” Usually the answer is not a perfect 10, because the manager has already had it pointed out on their 360 assessment. So if it’s anything less than 10, the managers asks the follow-up question: “What would I need to do for you to rate me a 10?”

It works so well because it gives the manager very specific ideas for improvement, in terms of what’s important to the other person. It opens up dialog in a non-threatening way, builds trust, and creates a win-win developmental partnership.

The 10/10 technique is very versatile – it can also be used with your peers, manager, customers, suppliers, and even in your personal relationships. “So tell me honey, on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate my ____?”

Let’s try it out right now: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate this blog? If less than a 10, what would I have to do to have you rate it a 10?