Back to Experiments

Experiment No. 001:
Ask a scaling question

Your Mission

Today, practice asking scaling questions. Here’s an example of how it works:

  • ¬†On a scale from 1-10, how happy are you with how your day is going?
  • Now, whatever number you answered, what would it take to move your rating up 1 point on the 10 point scale?



Mental Flex


Dirk Liedig,
LifeLabs New York


Question markHere are a few more examples of scaling:

  • Tim wants useful feedback on how his project is going. He asks his manager, on a scale from 1-10 how am I doing? Manager answers ‘7’. Tim: okay, what would it take to move it from a 7 to an 8?
  • Jane’s teammate seems overwhelmed. Jane asks: on a scale from 1-10, how stressed are you feeling? Tim answers 9. Jane: ‘What could move you from a 9 to an 8.5?’
  • Jane’s mom has a habit of complaining. A lot. Jane asks her mom, on a scale from 1-10, how fun was her vacation. Her mom says: 4. Jane says, well, what stopped it from being a 3? Learn from what was good about it.



Scaling questions have the power to turn abstract ideas into measurable, actionable feedback. The impact happens through smallness of the second question.