From the bestselling author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question comes a workbook to help you on your journey to embrace personal accountability.
Who Moved My Cheese? showed readers how to adapt to change. Fish! helped raise flagging morale. Execution guided readers to overcome the inability to get things done. QBQ!: The Question Behind the Question, now a classic bestselling guide celebrating 15 years in print, addresses the most important issue in business and society today: personal accountability.
This brand-new workbook and study guide will take you deeper into the material, allowing you to explore and absorb how to replace blame, complaining, and procrastination with personal accountability, by asking the simple question, "What can I do better next time?"
Instead of, "Who dropped the ball?" "Why do they keep messing up?" or "Why do we have to go through all these changes?" you will begin to ask, "How can I improve this situation?" "What can I contribute?" and "How can I make a difference?"
The perfect companion to QBQ! and a powerful tool for individuals, teams, and organizations, this deceptively simple workbook presents a bold new way to solve problems, improve teamwork, increase productivity, and pave the way for extraordinary success.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
John G. Miller is the founder and CEO of QBQ., Inc., an organizational development firm dedicated to helping organizations and people be outstanding by making personal accountability a core value. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Kristin E. Lindeen is the oldest of seven Miller children and has been steeped in the QBQ! message of personal accountability. A keynote speaker and workshop leader, Kristin is also the creator of I Own It! Building Character Through Personal Accountability—a classroom curriculum. Kristin lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota, with her husband Erik and three children.
Read an Excerpt
Chapter One A Picture of Personal Accountability An overworked young waiter goes above and beyond to deliver good service to a customer and pays for it out of pocket, too. Instead of shrugging off the situation by saying, "We don't serve Diet Coke," he goes the extra mile to get one across the street. This decision to solve the problem, made in the moment, makes all the difference. Key takeaway: Personal accountability turns a moment of frustration into an opportunity to contribute. 1. Jacob's story makes you feel energized encouraged disbelief relief frustration a desire to change a craving for Diet Coke Summarize in one sentence your No. 1 takeaway from Jacob's story. 2. If you had been Jacob, would you have stopped to serve the customer or kept on going to the kitchen? Why or why not? 3. Underline in the QBQ definition below the words that are meaningful to you. The definition of the QBQ: A tool that enables individuals to practice personal accountability by making better choices in the moment. 4. If personal accountability is about "making better choices," identify two good choices you've made lately and two lousy ones. 5. The "Jacob and the Diet Coke" story is a metaphor for going the "extra mile" for another person. Fill in the blanks below: Think about whom you can get a "Diet Coke" for. Ask yourself the QBQ, "What can I do to serve ?" (Fill in that person's name.) The last time I had outstanding service like this was at . Having someone go the extra mile for me makes me feel . 6. What makes one person more accountable than another? Circle the things below that you believe drive individuals to be more accountable: upbringing life experiences self-discipline desire to win/compete energy thinking Which one or two do you need to work on in your life so you can practice more personal accountability? Chapter Two Making Better Choices Goatheads are prickly little thorns that grow in the prairie lands and stick to our shoes and pop bike tires. They are a metaphor for incorrect thinking like "I have to" or "I can't." These statements can stick in our minds and cause problems. Making the better choice to focus on good thoughts is key to practicing personal accountability. Key takeaway: Personal accountability is practiced by making better choices. 1. I have good control over my thoughts. True or false? 2. Consider a time when you made a poor choice and landed in a "field of goatheads." Were you able to recover and get back on track? If so, how? What did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on this idea: Even deciding not to choose is making a choice. Think of something you decided not to do recently. Was it a good or bad decision? 4. Fill in the blank: People who believe they have no choice say things such as the following: I to. I . 5. Use this exercise to challenge yourself and think through your beliefs about the choices you have in life. Choices and Consequences exercise: I HAVE to do the laundry. True or false? (circle one) (Do you really have to?) Consequence of not doing the laundry: (There is freedom in realizing I don't have to do it, but "get" to or "choose" to because I don't like the alternative-dirty clothes!) I HAVE to pay my taxes. True or false? Consequence of not paying taxes: I HAVE to go to work. True or false? Consequence of not going to work: Create your own "HAVE to" statement: Consequence: I CAN'T exercise consistently. TRUTH: I have not created time in my schedule and could choose to make space for regular exercise. I CAN'T improve my relationships. TRUTH: I CAN'T share my true feelings. TRUTH: Create your own "CAN'T" statement: Rewrite and replace the "HAVEs" and "CAN'Ts" in your statements with "CHOOSE to's" and "CANs." How does that change how you feel when you read your statements? When I use the phrase "I can't," I feel . When I use the phrase "I choose," I feel . 6. Summary of chapters 1 and 2: Personal accountability is the essence of QBQ, which is making better in the moment by asking better . (fill in the blanks) Chapter Three QBQ! The Question Behind the Question QBQ! is all about choosing to ask better questions, and the QBQ is always a better question. QBQs begin with "What" or "How," contain an "I," and focus on "action." Ask these better questions and begin to get better answers! Key takeaway: How to create the question behind the question-the QBQ. 1. Fill in the blank: Better questions lead to better . 2. Underline the "better" questions: When are we going to solve that problem? How can I adapt to this change? Who didn't get me that information on time? What improvements can I make? Looking at the "better" questions you underlined, circle the pieces that match the three guidelines listed in the book. QBQ Guidelines qbqs always . . . 1. Begin with "What" or "How" 2. Contain an "I" 3. Focus on "Action" 3. Fill in the blanks: QBQs . . . Begin with "" or "." Contain an "." Focus on "." QBQs do NOT start with "," "When," or "." QBQs do NOT contain the words "," "," or "" 4. To be clear, QBQs are generally asked of whom? Answer: . 5. Let's take a quiz to determine which lousy questions you are most tempted to ask. Choose one answer for each of the scenarios below. Just have fun with it, and you can tally your "score" at the end. 1. You just found out you have to take a really difficult test for a certification at work that you didn't think you had to have. Which question below might you ask yourself? Why didn't anyone clarify for me that I needed this? When will they update the standards? Who was supposed to help me prepare? 2. You can't decide if you should quit your job and take a risk with a new venture or if you should play it safe and stay where you are. Your spouse doesn't have any opinion either way. What question would you ask? Why doesn't s/he care about this decision? Who got me stuck at this point in life? When will someone just tell me what choice to make? 3. You don't like your manager at your job. After a frustrating day when you were yelled at for being late, how do you respond? Why is life so unfair? Who does this guy think he is, anyway? When will someone get me up on time? 4. Last week you forgot to take the garbage cans out to the curb, and your spouse got mad. What question might you ask yourself? When will my husband/wife lay off me? Who is going to remind me to take out the trash from now on? Why do I have to do all the work? 5. Your kids are begging for the next hot device. You just bought them one recently, but they're already bored with it. What question do you find yourself asking? Who created these devices anyway? Why are my children so demanding? When are my kids going to be more grateful? 6. You're overwhelmed thinking about finances and the future. How do you frame your thoughts on this? When is my financial adviser going to give me more guidance? Why is college so expensive? Who got me into all this debt? 7. One of your closest friends hasn't been speaking to you lately. You know he is mad at you, but you're not sure why. How do you think about this conflict? Who caused this problem in the first place? Why are my friends so hard to get along with? When am I going to find better friends who don't take so much work? 8. You've heard that someone said something about you behind your back. The rumor is spreading quickly, and you're not sure how to stop it. What do you ask? When is someone else going to stand up for me and shut this rumor down? Why are other people so mean? Who's doing this to me? 9. You didn't get the promotion you applied for last year, but you worked really hard and improved during the past twelve months. You're the senior employee, and you think you've got a shot at this position. The announcement is made . . . and someone who's worked there less time got the job. How do you respond? Who influenced the boss to side against me? Why don't I get what I deserve? When will I catch a break? 10. Your significant other has been distant lately. You've tried hard to reach out and connect but can't figure out how to bridge the gap. What thoughts do you have about this? Who's going to fix this? When will s/he recognize that I'm trying my hardest? Why are relationships so hard? Add up your answers. How many questions did you choose? How many questions did you choose? How many questions did you choose? Key: = "Blame" questions. = "Procrastination" questions. = "Complaining" or "Victim Thinking" questions. The shape with the largest number just might be the "trap" that you struggle with most. According to this quiz, my biggest struggle is . Call to Action What is the most important idea for me to apply from the introduction through chapter 3? What steps will I take to make this change? When will I start? Be as specific as possible. How will my life improve by taking this action? Chapter Four Don't Ask "Why?" Questions that begin with "Why" instead of "What" or "How" are lousy questions because they cause feelings of powerlessness. "Why me?" questions lead to victim thinking, which is a dangerous place to live. Want victim thinking eliminated from society? Then, as individuals, we must first eliminate it from ourselves. Key takeaway: Asking "Why" questions leads to victim thinking. 1. These four "Why" questions are given as examples of poor questions: "Why don't others work harder?" "Why is this happening to me?" "Why do they make it so difficult for me to do my job?" "Why don't people care as much as I do?" Write out two of the above questions that you are most at risk of asking. "Why ?" "Why ?" 2. List those things you whine about frequently. Example: "I whine about people not being friendlier." I whine about . I whine about . I whine about . I whine about . I tend to play the victim when I feel (circle all that apply): defensive caught off guard angry out of control discouraged sad aggravated hurt Others: 3. List some "Why" questions that you've been asking that have led you to play the victim, whine, and complain: 4. What if our world had absolutely NO victim thinking, whining, or complaining? What would be different? The same? Better? Worse? 5. The best way to get rid of victim thinking in our world and society is to start with eliminating it in ourselves. What steps can you take to eliminate victim thinking in your life? There are three "better" questions-QBQs-listed below as alternatives to the "Why" questions that lead to victim thinking. "How can I do my job better today?" "What can I do to improve the situation?" "How can I support others?" Create your own below. "How ?" "What ?" "How ?" "?" "?" Chapter Five The Victim Years after returning to civilian life, a military man, once trained in the "no excuses" lifestyle of military service, realized he had fallen into the trap of victim thinking. Recognizing the series of "Why" questions he had been asking, he realized he'd become what he disliked most: the victim. A "no excuses" lifestyle is a better way to live. Key takeaway: "No excuses" thinking beats victim thinking. 1. Why is it so easy for people to slip into excuse-making mode? List your thoughts/reasons: 2. How does a "no excuses" attitude lead to greater personal accountability? 3. List three excuses you hear others use: List three excuses you use: 4. Finish this statement: I slip into excuse-making mode when I feel 5. List the benefits eliminating excuses from your life would provide: Chapter Six "Why Is This Happening to Me?" A reader of QBQ! believed she could disprove the idea that "stress is a choice." Thirty days later, she admitted that stress is a choice! Bad things happen, unexpected circumstances arise, but so often "stress" is mostly about how a person chooses to respond. Key takeaway: Stress is a choice. 1. Stress is a choice. Agree or disagree? 2. What typically "stresses you out"? What "triggers" you to choose stress? 3. These trigger events that have led you to choose stress in your life-were these choices avoidable? If so, how? 4. Explain how embracing the idea that stress is a choice would enhance your daily living. 5. It's important to recognize where stress and tension begin. Yes, bad things happen, and life can be hard, but so often it's the individual's response that creates increased levels of stress. Will you commit to owning the concept that "I create my own stress!"? Circle Yes or No . . . it's always a choice! Reflect on this concept, and your response of yes or no. Chapter Seven "Why Do We Have to Go Through All This Change?" A pilot and his young daughter Stacey took a plane out for a spin one afternoon. When complications arose, the engine quit working. Instead of asking lousy questions and complaining about the situation, the pilot asked good questions, took action, and solved the problem. (And saved the day!) When one is faced with change and challenging situations, it's better to act than to resist. Fighting change is rarely worth the effort. Instead, ask the QBQ "How can I adapt?" Key takeaway: The QBQ enables us to change. 1. Change makes me feel (check all that apply) empowered exhilarated empty energized anxious apprehensive paralyzed powerful 2. What changes are you dealing with right now? Are you fighting or adapting? Change: . Fighting or adapting? (Circle one.) Change: . Fighting or adapting? (Circle one.) Change: . Fighting or adapting? (Circle one.) 3. Underline the QBQs that would be most effective for you when facing change: What can I do to improve? How can I adapt? What can I do to better understand? How can I communicate more clearly? What can I do to grow? What changes can I make to prepare for more change? 4. Case Study Matthew was working at a company that was acquired by a larger, more "corporate" organization. Matthew's employer was more of a mom-and-pop-type shop, but all that was going to change. As the changes started coming, Matthew found it difficult to focus on the positives. The whole culture at the office started to shift. People were let go; new people were brought in. Headquarters was now located across the country; it felt as if everything was changing. Matthew and his co-workers-those who were left-often huddled around, asking questions like "Why do we have to go through all this change?" "When are things going to settle down?" "Why have we lost the 'family feel'?" "Who thought this change in leadership was a good idea?" "Why didn't they ask our opinions before taking this path?" What could Matthew change about his behavior that would result in a more positive work experience? Come up with three QBQs Matthew could ask instead of the lousy questions listed above and write them below: 5. Stacey's dad, of course, was physically in the cockpit. But being "in the cockpit" also serves as a metaphor. He could have whined and complained about forces beyond his control, yet he didn't seem to. He simply recognized he was in control of his own thoughts and actions and proceeded to own the problem. How about you? The last time you were hit with tremendous forces of change, how did you respond? Knowing the QBQ now, how would you handle it all differently? Explain.
Excerpted from "The QBQ! Workbook"
Copyright © 2016 John G. Miller.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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