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The Book of Beautiful Questions: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You…

de Warren Berger

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462419,339 (4.6)No n'hi ha cap
The humble question can be a powerful tool. By asking questions, we learn, analyze, understand, and can move forward in the face of uncertainty. When confronted with almost any demanding situation, the act of questioning can help guide us to smart decisions and a sensible course of action. But the questions must be the right ones; the ones that cut to the heart of a complex challenge, or that enable us to see an old problem in a fresh way. The Book of Beautiful Questions contains more than 200 such questions covering everyday situations that range from getting out of a career rut to connecting more deeply with an old friend. The book is about asking the right questions, at the right time, in order to make the best choices when it matters most. Each of the beautiful questions is thoughtful, provocative, and actionable, meaning they can be applied immediately to bring about change. Along with the questions, Warren Berger offers analysis of each question, based on insights from leading thinkers and experts. The Book of Beautiful Questions provides catalytic questions to guide readers to their own answers for the everyday issues that matter most.… (més)

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I have been a big fan of Warren Berger’s work after I first read his book: A More Beautiful Question when it first came out. I had picked it up at the venerable Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington DC on a whim, the title just sounded interesting. It never occurred to me that this serendipitous act was going to change my perspective on many things: convinced me of the efficacy using questioning as a way to test my thinking; clear up how I perceive my thinking; and in many ways it made me look at my biases in a clearer manner.

I had awaited this new book with bated breath, and as I gladly found out, it is also potentially life transforming.

Even though this book came out in 2018, I did not fully finished the reading until recently, partly because of my schedule and partly because I took on a massive reading list, which was motivated by the questions I had generated for myself after reading the first book. Yes, Berger has questions in this book about procrastination too.
Berger collected a large amount of questions, over 500, that he felt were critical for vario
us aspects of life. Some were thoughtful and deep, while others were seemingly obvious, but not obvious enough as people are not consistently asking these questions. Berger thoughtfully placed all of these questions in a PDF and the document is available from his website. The list is actually an index, which refers to the parts of the book where he discusses and parses those questions. Very thoughtful indeed.

He covered many different areas and he grouped the questions under those areas, and this is how the chapters are organized. The introduction sets up the question of: Why Questions? Parts I-IV drills deep into the topics of: decision making, creativity, personal connection with others, and finally leadership. The last part of the book is titled Conclusion, but it is really a guide to setting up the reader’s inquiring life.

The beauty about this book is that the reader can select the sections that is most meaningful to him or her, or they can choose to read the book in order. The narrative guides the reader through the author’s thought process as he parses each of the topics as well digging into the purpose and rationale behind asking questions in a certain way. The reader can reason along with the author, which forces the reader to learn about the nuances that are possible from a simple question. It can be some rigorous mental gymnastics, which fortuitously results in clarity of thought.

My favorite parts were the parts on decision making and creativity. If I had to pick a least favorite chapter, it would be the one on leadership. I don’t argue with the questions, nor do I quibble with the philosophical thoughts cited regarding strong leaders. I do have issues with the way the author talks about the execution and mindset for leadership. It is inevitable that he takes the tack of a run of the mill business book because the book of the month approach that follows along in organization like the millions of other business books that populate the discount bins is what the marketplace demands. This book is much better than that and I think the message that he has regarding leadership is much deeper and thought provoking than those coming out of the mouths of the business gurus. I wish that he had invested in drilling deeper into history and the deeply ingrained leadership lessons from the ancients than the CEOs of modernity. The former is time tested and the latter is still a transient looking to settle down. It is all a matter of the time constant.

But that is a minor quibble in what is overall a very good read for those who relish being challenged intellectually and enjoy being a polymath in this culture of specialists. The habit of asking questions is what the author is seeking to evolve, the questions that he uses in the book are examples, a starter kit for those nascent questionologists. The list of questions are to be used to jump starting their thought processes.

I will be dissecting Berger’s list in the next few days and thinking about how I can best use his list of questions. Of course, I will be asking questions. Lots of questions. ( )
  pw0327 | Feb 11, 2020 |
This book is not simply a list of questions. Berger explains in depth how to incorporate questions in decision making, creating, relationships, and leadership. He draws from the expertise of researchers and practitioners in education, business, psychology, science, and other fields. Sidebars throughout the book make it easy to identify questions for specific purposes. The more than 250 questions described in the book are included in a question index and in printable form on the book’s website. There are questions for one’s personal and professional roles. The lessons in this book can benefit anyone willing to apply them. To help with that, Berger includes numerous exercises for developing a questioning habit in any arena of life. ( )
  mitchellray | Aug 31, 2018 |
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The humble question can be a powerful tool. By asking questions, we learn, analyze, understand, and can move forward in the face of uncertainty. When confronted with almost any demanding situation, the act of questioning can help guide us to smart decisions and a sensible course of action. But the questions must be the right ones; the ones that cut to the heart of a complex challenge, or that enable us to see an old problem in a fresh way. The Book of Beautiful Questions contains more than 200 such questions covering everyday situations that range from getting out of a career rut to connecting more deeply with an old friend. The book is about asking the right questions, at the right time, in order to make the best choices when it matters most. Each of the beautiful questions is thoughtful, provocative, and actionable, meaning they can be applied immediately to bring about change. Along with the questions, Warren Berger offers analysis of each question, based on insights from leading thinkers and experts. The Book of Beautiful Questions provides catalytic questions to guide readers to their own answers for the everyday issues that matter most.

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