When we're confronted with almost any demanding situation, the act of questioning can help guide us to smart decisions in the face of uncertainty. But the questions must be the right ones; the ones that cut to the heart of complexity or enable us to see an old problem in a fresh way.
In The Book of Beautiful Questions, expert “questionologist” Warren Berger shares illuminating stories and compelling research on the power of inquiry. Drawing from the insights and expertise of psychologists, innovators, effective leaders, and some of the world's foremost creative thinkers, he presents the essential questions readers need to make the best choices when it truly counts, with a particular focus in four key areas: decision-making, creativity, leadership, and relationships.
The powerful questions in this book can help you:
- Identify opportunities in your career or industry
- Generate fresh ideas in business or in your own creative pursuits
- Check your biases so you can make better judgments and decisions
- Do a better job of communicating and connecting with the people around you
Thoughtful, provocative, and actionable, these beautiful questions can be applied immediately to bring about change in your work or your everyday life.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: Why Question? 1
Why question? How con questioning help us decide, create, connect, and lead? What can we learn from a four-year-old girl? What are the five enemies of questioning? How might we foster a questioning habit? Why is questioning now more important than ever? Can questions bridge the gap between us? What if the future of democracy depends on questioning?
Part I Questions for Better Decision-Making 21
Why should I question my own decisions? why do I believe what I believe? Am I thinking like a soldier or a scour? Why should I accept what I'm told? Does my critical thinking have an agenda? What if this isn't a "yes or no" decision? What would an outsider do? What would I try if I knew I could not fail? How can Questioning help with something as primal and powerful as fear? What would "future me" decide? Which option will allow me to evolve and flourish? How would I later explain this decision to others? What is my tennis ball?
Part II Questions for Sparking Creativity 61
Why create? Where did my creativity go? What If I go looking for problems? What is the world missing? Why should this be my problem? Where is my tortoise shell? When is my prime time? Am I willing to kill the butterfly? What if I allow myself to begin anywhere? How do I get "unstuck"? Am I ready to "go public"? Do I want to be done or do I want to improve? How do I stay "en route"?
Part III Questions to Help Connect With Others 103
Why connect? What if we go beyond "How are you?" How might I listen with my whole body? What if I advise less and inquire more? How am I guilty of the thing I'm criticizing? What if I replace judgment with curiosity? How might I own my own biases? How might we form a stronger partnership? Do I want to be right or do I want peace? Can questioning help us connect in the workplace? Why is it hard for managers to "question down"? What If we replace the sales pitch with a "question pitch"?
Part IV Questions for Stronger Leadership 149
"What can we do to right this wrong?" Why do I choose to lead? Do I have the confidence to be humble? Why must I retreat in order to lead? What is my code? What is the least I can do? How can we become the company that would put us out of business? What's going on out there-and how can I help? Am I looking for what's broken… or what's working? Do I really want a culture of curiosity? How might we make questioning safe, rewarding, and productive?
Conclusion: The Inquiring Life 195
How might I begin to act on my questions? How can I warm up my questioning muscles? Can I build a better question? How might I test my built-in baloney detector? What if I looked at the world around me with a fresh eye? How (and with whom) shall I break the Ice? What if I interview myself? Can questioning help bring my family closer together? What if I trade my resolutions for "questolutions"? How can I encourage others to question more? What is my one "big beautiful question"?
Index of Questions 261