Book – Change Your Questions, Change Your Life
Author – Marilee Adams, PhD
Genre – Self-Help
Published in –2016
Great Results Begin with Great Questions.Joseph S. Edwards
When you observe self-talk, what kind of questions do you notice asking yourself? 1st, why does it always happen to me? What is wrong with me, or 2nd, what can I learn from this? How can I make this better? What am I missing here?
This is one of the best books I have read that describes the power of questions and how they can affect our lives for better or worse.
About the Book –
Change your questions, change your life is a business fable, which explains the practical power of Question Thinking and how the right questions can direct our thinking and, therefore, our actions and results.
QT (Question thinking) provides skills for observing and assessing our present considerations, including the questions we’re asking ourselves, guiding us in designing new questions for better results.
The story revolves around four characters: Ben, Alexa, Grace (Ben’s Wife), and Joseph. Ben accepted the Executive position in the new company, where his ex-boss Alexa had joined as CEO. As things go out of control for Ben to handle in his recent work, Alexa sends him for executive coaching to Joseph (her coach).
Here are a few excerpts from the book –
1) Thinking or Questioning –
- We’re usually barely conscious of asking questions, especially the ones we ask ourselves. But they’re a part of our thought process nearly every moment.
- Thinking occurs as an internal question-and-answer process. Not only that, we often answer our questions by taking some action.
- When we get stuck, hunting for answers and solutions is natural. But in doing so, we often unintentionally create blocks instead of openings.
2) Judger or Learner –
Ben meets with Joseph and explains his dilemma of being unable to manage a team and drive the required results. Joseph asks him to focus on the questions he asks himself and his team. He emphasizes checking whether his questions are for judging or learning. Here are a few traits of a judge and Learner.
|Judger Mindset||Learner Mindset|
|Judgmental of self and others||Accepting of self and others|
|Reactive and automatic||Responsive and thoughtful|
|“Know-it-all”||Values not knowing|
|Personal Perspective only||Consider other’s Perspective|
|Defends Assumption||Questions Assumption|
|Primary Mood – Protective||Primary Mood – Curious|
3) Choice Map (Judger or Learner) –
Coach Joseph introduces the Choice map concept to Ben to explain the Question thinking model.
- Every time we question, we are either judging or learning. We can’t do both at the same time. Evaluating questions closes our minds, and we look for faults or someone to blame.
- It is our responsibility to get out of judging questions and dwell into learning questions, where we are open to understanding other’s situations, willing to look at things from different perspectives and look for solutions.
|Judging Questions||Learning Questions|
|: whose fault is it?||What assumption am I making?|
|What’s wrong with them?||What are the facts?|
|Why am I such a failure?||What can I learn from this?|
|Why are they stupid?||What am I responsible for?|
|Why bother?||What are my choices?|
- As we understand the feelings behind questions and how types of questions can change the direction of our thoughts, we will be more careful in choosing our questions.
4) Switching Questions –
Joseph claims that switching is what makes it possible to change. Switching is where the action is! He then introduces Switching questions to move from judger to Learner. Here are a few switching questions to move from Judger to Learner.
1 What assumptions am I making?
2. How else can I think about this?
3 What is the other person thinking, feeling, and wanting?
4. Is this working?
5 What am I missing or avoiding?
5) 12 Life-Changing Questions for Success?
You may consider asking these twelve questions, and it is not a one-time event; you should revisit them often and keep aligning with your priorities.
1. What do I want?
2. What are my choices?
3. What assumptions am I making?
4. What am I responsible for?
5. How else can I think about this?
6. What is the other person thinking, feeling, and wanting?
7. What am I missing or avoiding?
8. What can I learn?
a. From this person or situation?
b. From this mistake or failure?
c. From this success?
9. What action steps make the most sense?
10. What questions should I ask (myself or others)?
11. How can I turn this into a win-win?
12. What’s possible?
After you finish reading the book, you’ll be more aware of questions you ask for yourself/others and change them into learning rather than judging.
If you like this book, you may also like Mindset.
I hope this book summary helped you in some way. Please share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for your time.
Muzammil, Fellow Reader.