Apr 15, 2022
Today I am very excited to
introduce you to Warren Berger. If you know me at all, you probably
know what a big deal this is for me. Warren wrote my very favorite
book, A More Beautiful
Question. I reference
it all the time on the show when I am being interviewed, when I am
teaching… I even referenced it in my own book. I love questions and
a huge part of that infatuation came from Warren’s
When the milestone of the 200th
episode of The Brainy
Business was on the
horizon I decided to go out on a limb and asked Warren if he would
be my guest for this special episode. He kindly agreed and here we
are! Warren has a history as a journalist for the New York Times
before writing or co-authoring ten books including
A More Beautiful
The Book of Beautiful
Beautiful Questions in the
Classroom, and more.
Today we are talking about questions (of course!) as well as design
thinking and so much other goodness. You definitely don’t want to
miss this one! Thank you so much for 200 amazing episodes together!
What do you want to hear more of in the next 200?
- [00:45] Today I am very excited
to introduce you to Warren Berger.
- [01:44] Warren has a history as
a journalist for The New
York Times before
writing or co-authoring ten books including A More Beautiful
The Book of Beautiful
Questions, Beautiful Questions in the
- [03:35] Warren shares who he is
and his background. He is a long-time journalist.
- [05:54] This idea of asking
questions, trying to get to the right questions, and figuring out
how to ask a good question is a really important concept that has
been underappreciated and not talked about
- [07:20] Questioning is basic
and comes naturally to us…but at the same time, it is very complex.
There are so many ways you can get better at questioning and
understand it better.
- [09:16] Warren looks for
whatever has been published and he also talks to people and
interviews them about how they use questions. He has interviewed a
hostage negotiator, FB agent, therapists, coaches, and
- [11:31] It is very common to
see books have a chapter on questioning, but it doesn’t go that
deep into it. There needs to be more. Warren advocates for
Questionology departments in schools (sounds good to
- [12:46] The more you learn
about something, the more you realize there is to learn and that is
certainly true with questioning. (Intrigued by this idea?
Listen to episode 198 on the Dunning-Kruger
effect to learn more about this!)
- [14:28] Warren has three books
on questioning, A More
Beautiful Question, The Book of Beautiful
Beautiful Questions in the
- [15:27] There is this
underappreciated tool called questioning. You know how to do it in
a way, but there is so much more to it that you can learn.
Questioning leads to innovations, changes, and
- [16:25] Everybody comes at
questioning from a different angle.
- [19:02] His third book on
questioning was adapted for education and
- [20:58] You have to model the
behavior of being a curious questioner that doesn’t have all the
answers. Be a person that is wondering, growing, and
- [23:27] You have to have a
balance of confidence and humility to be a questioner.
- [24:39] The model for great
leaders is to have that ability to learn consistently and be
learning in front of the people you are leading.
- [25:36] The smartest people are
aware of how much they don’t know. Being aware of your ignorance is
an indication of how smart you are. (Dunning-Kruger effect
- [27:28] We have to realize
there is a lot we don’t know and keep learning with our
- [29:48] Questioning involves
getting comfortable with uncertainty.
- [31:17] If you use why, what
if, and how questions together they tend to go in a cycle that
pushes you forward.
- [33:27] Questioning has to be
actionable and it has to be moving forward.
- [35:07] The problem is that
people want to rush to practical “How” questions. It is in our
nature, but it is not enough.
- [36:53] You could give yourself
a deadline when working through the questions or just trust your
gut that you will know when you have spent enough time on that
stage of questioning. Melina’s tip – ask way more questions than
you think you need to.
- [37:39] Sometimes the purpose
of a question is to help you get to the next question.
- [38:48] The questioning muscle
is a different muscle than your idea-generating muscle. When you
use the questioning muscle you start to see things
- [41:11] Warren says design
thinking is how a designer would go about approaching a problem,
what can we learn from the way designers approach problems, and how
we can apply that.
- [43:27] We can all use this
mindset and process that designers use as we try to take on
- [44:18] If you want to create
your own beautiful question and take ownership of it, consider
framing it as: “How might I…?” Warren shares his beautiful
- [46:21] Forget the mission
statement. What is your company’s mission question?
- [48:33] Melina shares her
- [50:28] If you enjoy the
experience I’ve provided here for you, will you share about it?
That could mean leaving a rating/review or sharing the episode with
a friend (or 10!)
Thank you for 200 episodes! What do you want to hear in
the next 200? Share it with me on social media (links
Thanks for listening. Don’t
forget to subscribe on
Android. If you like
what you heard, please leave a
review on iTunes
and share what you liked about the
I hope you love
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