I have learned that developing good habits is key in improving my abilities. A series of good small decisions can often prove to be better than infrequent good ones. The most effective way to develop a habit is to have a trigger for it. That is, when an event occurs, do the thing you want to. Otherwise good habits just devolve to good ideas that don’t happen.
One good habit is to validate you understand something that someone has requested of you. In this case our trigger can be a request. The habit is to validate it by asking them what their acceptance criteria is. This doesn’t mean that they are right in their criteria – people often ask for the wrong thing. But a critical first step is to ensure you understand what they asked for.
Habit – validate understanding.
Trigger: When someone asks you to do something.
Action: Ask – “how will I know I’ve done that?”
Intention: Validate that what they say matches what you heard.
Habit – understand their why
Follow up Action: Ask – “and why do you want that?”
Intention: Validate you understand their objective as their might be a different way to achieve that.