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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Includes some useful tools for success, November 5, 2002
This review is from: QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in business and in Life (Paperback)
In The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in Business and in Life, John G. Miller presents an alternative way to look at our problems (or challenges) and encourages us to ask different, but better questions about them.
Miller starts off by illustrating incorrect questions (IQ's). IQ's focus on things or people outside or external to us. Some examples might be "When will he learn to manage better?", "Why can't they see my point-of-view?", "Why can't they hire better workers?". IQ's tend to sap our energy and deflate our spirit.
IQ's do, however, seem to come naturally, perhaps as a result of human nature. Miller often asks groups of people what's the one thing they would like to change in their organizations. The answers always follow the external P's: that is, change the policies, procedures, prices, and other people. "Nobody ever says me." As an example, look at the following questions and see what is the first response that comes to mind.
-A poor subordinate blames the _____.
-A poor executive blames the _____.
-A poor driver blames the _____.
Although these thoughts or questions may be natural, they lead us into blame, complaining, and procrastination. Miller's solution is to discipline our thoughts and to look behind our initial questions to come up with better questions-or, as he terms it, the question behind the question (QBQ).
These are Miller's three guiding principles for better questions or QBQ's. Better questions:
1. "Begin with what or how (not why, when or who)."
2. "Contain I (not they, we, or you)."
3. "Focus on action."
A perfect example of a QBQ is "What can I do right now?" The essence of the QBQ system is that "the answers are in the questions". If you ask the right question you can make positive moves toward achievement and a rewarding life.
The book concludes with a list of lousy questions and the better QBQ's or questions behind the questions. A brief sample follows.
The sales department:
"When are we going to get some new products?"
"Why can't we get better customer service support?"
QBQ's:
"How can I add value for my customers?"
The management:
"Why aren't my workers more motivated?"
"Why do they keep making the same mistakes?"
QBQ's:
"What can I do to help them do their job better?"
To summarize, "The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in Business and Life" presents some basic, yet powerful ideas about creating a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
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Location: Lakeland, Florida

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