I love hearing and asking great questions. It has been a journey of mine for the past 15 years. During this time, I have found several great books on questioning, and bestselling author Warren Berger’s latest book, The Book of Beautiful Questions, is no exception.
Berger’s first book, A More Beautiful Question, set the stage for the author as he studied hundreds of the world’s foremost innovators, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers to learn how they ask better questions. In his most recent book, Berger shares interesting stories and solid research on the power of inquiry. He divides the book into four key areas when we need great questions: Decision-making, Creativity, Relationships, and Leadership.
Here is just a sampling of some of my favorite questions from the book:
- “Do I think more like a soldier or a scout?” A soldier’s job is to defend, while a scout’s purpose is to explore and discover. I am guilty sometimes of being too much the soldier and not enough scout.
- “What would an outsider do?” Have you ever noticed that it’s always easier to solve other people’s problems? I find this question helpful in moving away from my own biases and looking at a decision through the more neutral eyes of an outsider.
- “How does the organization react to mistakes?” I love this question for someone being interviewed for a new job. It help’s the candidate determine if it’s okay to experiment and grow in this company. Will I be punished for exploring?
- “What is my tennis ball?” Do you or someone you know need help finding your passion? This is a great question to explore that need. What engages you as much as a dog chasing a tennis ball?
- “What would I try if I knew I could not fail?” Fear is a powerful deterrent to growth. This is a favorite Silicon Valley question to help identify bold possibilities.
I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to any small business owner wanting to expand their ability to inquire.