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Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work (Inquiry Institute Library) Paperback – June 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marilee Adams, Ph.D. is President and Chief Question Officer of the Inquiry Institute, a consultancy and educational center for leadership, individual, team, and organizational effectiveness. She is a professional speaker, executive coach, coach trainer, and facilitator. Her clients include NASA Goddard, Lockheed Martin, the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Departments of the Treasury, Education, and Interior, Federal Executive Institute, Siemens, Wachovia.

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Product Details

  • Series: Inquiry Institute Library
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Second Edition edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576756009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576756003
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Serra on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
Marilee Adams' book has some good content. It's true that being an impartial observer and asking open-ended questions with positive intent can make an enormous difference in all of your relationships. There are good tips and the suggestions for improving your communication are easy to follow.

The downside to this book is the fictional story that wraps around the message: the dialog is sad, it's obvious you're being preached to, the characters are shallow, and it's over-simplified. It felt as though Ms. Adams doesn't believe her audience can follow the steps without an emotionally stunted story to make it easier to swallow.

Other leadership books employ a similar technique in a less obvious manner.

If you're interested in truly changing your leadership style, I would recommend a double-hitter of "One Minute Manager" and "Leadership and Self-Deception". Both books share a similar philosophy to "Change Your Questions, Change Your Life" but there is more meat and the stories are easier to digest.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Audiaa on February 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book reads much like an infomercial where a 'random' audience member comes up on stage to proclaim over-enthusiastically how wonderful this product that they have never seen before now is. The unrealistic like writing style of this book, made it difficult for me to get through. The concepts in this self-help book were introduced through a story about an average man working for an average company. He likes always having the answers and is having some problems getting along with and managing his employees. He goes to see a life coach at the suggestion of his boss, and while initially skeptical, he quickly comes around to agree with everything the coach suggests. After implementing the coach's suggestions, the man's life *poofs* to fabulous!

The second half of the book is a workbook that actually goes through lessons for how to follow the Question-thinking method. By the time I got to this point, I was pretty tired of all the rainbows and unicorns and didn't get much out of it. I didn't really find anything completely new to try from this method. I may not have seen the same buzz words or flow charts as the book, but the concepts were not new. The book included content that seemed mostly like common sense. Keep an open mind about people and don't make assumptions. I think I would have learned more from this section if I hadn't struggled through the first half of the book before it. In summary, this is an overly optimistic book without much unique advice.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By bhleigh on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently purchased this book at the request of a career counselor. I like the way it is written, story format, so the concepts are easier to understand. There is no life altering wisdom presented in the book, just a simple way to observe what you already know. I would recommend this for anyone stuck at work or someone who has plateaued in their career.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio on May 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Change Your Questions Change Your Life' provides tools to help you shift from a disempowering state of judgment where you may be playing the blame game that doesn't solve anything to an open, learning state in which you open yourself to consider choices and possibilities that will get you the results you're after.

The author shares the Top 12 Questions to help you to switch from the judgmental state to a state from which you are better equipped to engage in constructive action. The question are:

What do I want?
What are my choices?
What assumptions am I making?
What am I responsible for?
how else can I think about this?
What is the other person thinking, feeling, and wanting?
What am I missing or avoiding?
What can I learn?
... from this person or situation?
... from this mistake or failure?
... from this success?
What action steps make the most sense?
What questions should I ask (myself or others)?
How can I turn this into a win-win?
What's possible?

Of course, there are many more questions you can ask yourself and others, and several other questions are addressed in this book.

This is a small book and you can read it probably in a few hours. The questions in this book are not exhaustive and you can find other books that go into much greater depth into the art of asking questions. However, exactly because this book is simple, short and easy-to-read, it may be a great place to start and make amazing changes by learning how to shift your state of mind from being fixated on the problem and feeling helpless, to opening the way and transforming any situation, simply by training yourself to ask yourself different questions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gregory W. Lease on July 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work (BK Life (Paperback))is a powerful little book. Marilee Adams has given her readers some powerful tools in a story setting that makes the material easy to understand and implement in their lives for fast results. While many are striving for the right answers, Adams shows how asking the right questions is far more important if we want to perceive ourselves, our relationships and interactions clearly without the mental blind spots we so often place in our own ways. Her Learner/Judger model helps to explain that although we will never be perfectly successful at not prejudging the situations we encounter, there is a simple method to "re-route" ourselves for success. Everyone who wants to live their life and enjoy their relationships at the highest level of quality should read this book!
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