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Keep-Start-Stop: The Self-Assessment Technique That Leads To Growth

At AREC 2014, Wendy Alexander from Barfoot & Thompson spoke about a successful method of improving performance called ‘keep-start-stop’. Manos Findikakis of Eview Group explains how it works, and how some of Eview Group’s high performers are using it to set themselves up for the new year.

The holiday season is often a time to reflect on the year you’ve had and to plan for the year ahead. We all have improvements we’d like to make and goals we want to accomplish, but sometimes it’s difficult to know where to begin – and even harder to see our ambitions through to the end.

Research has shown that setting your aim and successfully hitting the target ultimately boils down to structure and feedback. Using a simple but effective technique such as Keep-Start-Stop can turn vague ideas and wishful thinking into real goals by providing a framework for your objectives and a self-lead assessment.

Professor Phil Daniels of Brigham Young University developed the Keep-Start-Stop method as a way to facilitate critical thinking when setting goals. Today, this technique is used by academic institutions, businesses and individuals as an assessment and strategy guide.

Keep-Start-Stop serves as a road map, reminding you of what you’re doing right and keeping you on track to make lasting improvements.

Reflecting on your year, ask yourself three simple questions:

  • What should I keep doing because it’s working for me?
  • What do I need to start doing to reach my goals?
  • What do I need to stop doing because it’s hindering my progress?

Determine which activities are moving you closer to your goals and keeping you healthy, wealthy and wise.

This question helps you determine which activities are moving you closer to your goals and keeping you healthy, wealthy and wise. Anything that is fulfilling, has a track record of positive results and adds value to your life goes under Keep. It may be helpful to enlist the opinions of colleagues, friends and family to identify your best qualities, especially since our internal critic can make us blind to our own strengths. As you consider the answers to this question, you also need to think about how you build on these strengths and continue to grow in a positive direction.

This question is to encourage you to think about what you need to add to your life to reach your goals. It may contain tasks you’re procrastinating on, the information you need to gather or skills you need to build to attain the next level. The Start category is also where you put new opportunities.

The Stop question is probably the most difficult and requires you to deal with any bad habits, stresses and activities that are hindering your progress. These things are often time- or energy-consuming but provide very little in the way of advancement or happiness.

In some cases, it may be as easy as changing your mindset or adjusting the way you approach a task. In more critical circumstances, you may have to completely eliminate behaviours, thought processes or even relationships that no longer serve your purposes.

Lastly, place your list somewhere prominent, and take time every day or so to revisit your answers and remind yourself of what you’re trying to accomplish. Conduct regular reviews of your overall objectives and any milestones you’ve established to ensure they’re still working for you. Keep things flexible, and don’t be afraid to make changes as necessary. We are, after all, works in progress!


manosKeep – Delegation. It took a long time for me to let go of tasks and responsibilities in response to the enormous growth we have had in the Eview Group in the last 18 months. This has allowed me to get important projects finished on time, and in many cases with a better outcome than I had originally hoped for.

Start – We have three new projects for 2017 – our own NEXT CRM, Prospecting Plan and Eview concierge service coming up – so for me it’s a case of prioritising the next actions, simplifying moving parts and successful execution.

Stop – Ad hoc meeting schedules! I feel I’m too flexible with my schedule sometimes and allow it to be interrupted with impromptu chats or ‘meetings’; this puts pressure on me after hours to have urgent matters attended to and completed.



Keep – Staying focused on prospecting and face-to-face appointments. Presenting the Eview opportunity at large-scale events has been something that has been truly successful for us this year.

Start – Since changing roles within the company from sales to recruitment, I have learned that prospecting for new sales listings is no different to prospecting for people, so we can continue to grow our franchising business. Having a defined strategy, a clear marketing plan and set KPIs will help me achieve my goals this year.

Stop – Saying ‘Yes’ to everything! Saying ‘No’ to people is such a skill, and one that I need to develop with the help of my coach, Tanja [Jones]. My day starts well with scheduled appointments and then interruptions start, which leaves me with work to catch up on at home late at night, which is not ideal. So I need to learn to say ‘no’ politely and direct the enquiry to the right people within our group.



Keep – What is working for me is prospecting with a mix of personalised market reports and business cards to accompany the mass automated marketing to my core area. The response rate has been significantly higher and generally returns motivated vendors, rather than those just seeking a price.

Training has been a huge part of my 2016 and one of the key reasons my team has tripled our business in the last year. I listen to audio discs in the car, attend conferences and bootcamps as well as having quarterly sales training with Aaron Sansoni, which has taken my listing presentation to the next level.

Start – In 2017, I want to take my systems and structures to the next level, where all members of the team know their roles and KPIs so we are more efficient and maximise more personal time for our families and leisure. I also feel to date that I haven’t done the best job with seeking referral business, which has come in on its own. I want to make more of an effort to leverage off our happy clients in the honeymoon period between sale and settlement.

Stop – I don’t need to control every part of the process, and I trust my team to deliver, so something I have already stopped is nondollar productive activities.

So in 2017 I will ensure that I stop letting my ego influence my intuition!



Keep – I’m a positive person and I enjoy the training routine I have set for myself. I like listening to the coaches, Tom Panos, Josh Phegan and others; that gets me into a positive mindset to start the day. I’ve got into a good rhythm with my ideal day and week; for example, calls in the morning and so on. Even now that I have my own business, my focus on listing and selling hasn’t changed as Eview take care of the back office for me.

Start – I am going to try some meditation and also get back into the gym, a walk of a morning or a class of some sort.

Stop – I started with my own business on 1 August, moving from a large franchise. So far it’s been great, but I need to stop worrying about others’ perceptions about both myself and the business; it takes up a lot of energy and is not that productive.



Keep – I’m a great believer in continual improvement and engage several coaches for the different aspects of my business. As a selling principal, I need to wear many different hats. I surround myself with amazing coaches and mentors, and train with high achievers so that I can deliver better outcomes for our clients and my team. Of course, I work with the most exciting company, Eview, so I am privileged to be surrounded by positive, forward-thinking leaders and colleagues who are working at an elite level and are always implementing success strategies that I can model.

I was recently introduced to a great productivity app called Pomodoro, which encourages you to focus single-mindedly in blocks of 25 minutes with five-minutes breaks. My team love it, and we achieve a lot more than when we were trying to multitask!

Start – 2017 is our year of automation. I want to improve our systems and focus on fun and dollar productivity. We are looking at outsourcing marketing and low-value administrative tasks. We are mind-mapping our client management and lead generation trails so that they can be automated wherever possible.

Stop – We have a picture of an ideal client and generally we deal with the most amazing people who trust us, our process and happily pay a professional fee for our services. Occasionally, my ego interferes with my intuition and I take on business that I know in my heart is not good business. I think a lot of agents are conditioned to take all business, but the bad business is soul destroying – it changes your energy levels and destroys your confidence. If we deal only with the good ones who have realistic expectations, who are motivated to move, then our business is an absolute pleasure.


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