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QBQ! The Question Behind The Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life.

QBQ! The question behind the question: practicing personal accountability at work and in life by John G Miller.

The hallways of our organizations are abuzz: "When will the market improve?" "We're running so lean; how do they expect me to accomplish my goals?" "When will my team step it up?" The questions may seem innocuous, yet they hold the key to why many organizations struggle--each question places blame.


The Question Behind the Question provides a simple framework that can help us nudge our teams out of the apathy that accompanies the blame game. It feels like an absurdly simple read--easily consumed over a lunch break. Yet its simplicity makes it a natural conversation starter and can quickly help us get back to the work of working.

In quick, digestible bites, Miller provides simple guidelines. Ask questions that begin with who, why and when, and you'll deflect responsibility to some unnamed "other." Ask questions that begin with what or how, and suddenly we take on responsibility for change.

Faced with waning engagement and employee burnout, I gave my team a week to read the book and have already noticed a difference. The short customer service stories and concepts were a reminder that change does not have to originate in the C-suite.

This is not an all-encompassing resource, but it does provide a natural opening to discuss personal accountability. The concepts are simple and are easily integrated into daily work. I find 1 am making better decisions in the moment by asking better questions. Its worth a lunch date.

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Comment:QBQ! The Question Behind The Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life.
Author:Anderson, Kristina
Publication:Utah Business
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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