How are you?

No seriously – how are you?

We use this question so often, sometimes to initiate small talk, but other times, it means a lot more.

And these days, with everything being uncertain, it’s a question that carries a lot of weight.

“How are you?” has become:

“Are you alright?”

“How are you coping?”

“How are you managing or thriving during these uncertain times?”

That said, I wanted to share with you a tool that I recently shared with a leadership group.

It’s a simple, yet powerful tool that helps focus the resilience of an individual.

You can use this tool on yourself, for coaching one of your team members, or with your colleagues, friends, or family members.

It’s a way to focus the conversation, but also to strengthen your resilience.

Here’s how it works, in three simple parts…

1. How are you, on a scale of 1 to 10?

The first part of this task is to simply ask the question, “How are you?”

But that’s not all – you also want to give yourself (or ask the person you’re talking to) to grade the feeling on a scale of one to 10.

One being the lowest score, and 10 being the highest.

Keep in mind that life can feel like a roller coaster ride (especially these days), and you can certainly anticipate that emotions and moods are going to change throughout a week, and even throughout a day.

For example, I asked a friend of mine and she answered, “Well, I’ve had a couple of threes and fours this week. I’ve had a couple of sevens and eights. But today, at this exact moment, I’m a five.”

That’s a completely normal response.

2. How come you chose that number and not the one lower?

Now comes the follow-up question.

Once you’ve got a number from one to 10, your next question is, “How come your score isn’t the number below that?”

In other words, if I say I’m a five, how come a five and not a four? If someone says they are an eight, come they’re not a seven?

This question is designed to get you thinking about what is contributing to the score.

For example, imagine I’m at my desk one morning and it’s only about nine o’clock and I’m feeling that my focus is already off. So, I ask myself, “How am I on a scale of one to 10?” I choose the number five.

The second question I then ask is, “How come five, and not four?”

And after some thought, I think, “Okay, well I had a cup of coffee, so that’s helping. I had a decent sleep the night before, that’s always good. I also feel like I got a few things off my to-do list, that makes me feel positive.”

By asking this second question, I focus on the strengths and the things that are helpful and contributing to the rating.

Focusing on what is working for you is already a powerful resilience skill.

3. How would you gain a ¼ point?

The third and final part of this tool is to ask the question, “What might make the difference between your rating and an increase of a quarter point?”

Again – and I really want to emphasize this – we are not asking what it will take to go from a five, to a nine or 10. We’re asking about going from a five, to five and a quarter.

That’s it.

If we circle back to the example where I’m sitting at my desk and I’m a five, what would be the difference? How could I increase my rating by a quarter point?

For me, in that particular moment, it might be just to stand up, walk around my place for a little bit, and maybe get a little snack.

The answer will be different for each of us, which is fine – remember, you are the expert in your own life.

What might increase your score by a quarter point? What might be helpful and useful? What needs to happen, and what action can you take?

It’s a simple yet powerful tool. We know that life can be complex, but the tools that you use to navigate life can be pretty simple and straightforward sometimes.

To review…

  1.       “How are you on a scale of one to 10?”
  2.       “How come you chose that number, and not the one lower?”
  3.       “How would you gain an extra quarter point?”

That’s it. A quick way to check, build, and strengthen your own resilience.

Try it out and experiment with it a little. Feel free to message me to let me know how it goes.

If you’re interested to learn more about strengthening your resilience, you can check out