Why we need to ask better questions (and how)

In a world ‘drowning in data’, questions are more important than ever. But answers are everywhere too, we just need to ask the right questions, discovers Lauren Hadden. Here’s a simple formula


Why we need to ask better questions (and how)

Learning how to ask useful questions is central to working better and becoming more fulfilled argues Warren Berger, speaker, journalist and researcher on the power of questioning. In a world ‘drowing in data’, says Berger, questions are more important than ever – answers are everywhere, we need to ask the right questions.

A simple formula to help you begin to ask better questions:

1. You are presented with a situation that is less than ideal – ask, why?

2. Come up with ideas for possible improvements – ask what if?

3. Prioritise your questions and turn one of those ideas into action – ask how?

Hopefully, though it may not happen immediately – be prepared to fail and ask new questions! ­– you will eventually arrive at your solution. Also, try ‘appreciative inquiry’ – questions with a positive tone. Instead of ‘Oh no, what am I going to do?’, try ‘How can I make the most of this situation?’

The questions to ask to get more out of life:

If you are looking to get more out of life, here are some ‘beautiful questions’ suggested by Berger, drawn from the wisdom of happiness researcher Tal Ben-Shahar, filmmaker Roko Belic and writer AJ Jacobs:

1. What is important to me?

2. What has worked for me before – and how can I bring more of that into my life now?

3. What did I love doing as a child?

4. What am I doing when I feel most alive?

5. What if I made one small change?

6. Why do it the same old way?

READ MORE: A More Beautiful Question: The Power Of Inquiry To Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger (Bloomsbury, £20) is out now




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