Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

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 book. 

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 Question, The Book of Beautiful Questions, 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? 

Show Notes:

  • [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 Question, The Book of Beautiful Questions, Beautiful Questions in the Classroom, and more.
  • [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 enough. 
  • [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 more. 
  • [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 Melina!)
  • [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 Questions, and Beautiful Questions in the Classroom.
  • [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 breakthroughs. 
  • [16:25] Everybody comes at questioning from a different angle. 
  • [19:02] His third book on questioning was adapted for education and teachers. 
  • [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 learning.
  • [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 again!)
  • [27:28] We have to realize there is a lot we don’t know and keep learning with our teams. 
  • [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 differently. 
  • [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 problems. 
  • [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 question(!)
  • [46:21] Forget the mission statement. What is your company’s mission question?
  • [48:33] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [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 below).

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

Let’s connect:

More from The Brainy Business:

Get the Books Mentioned on (or related to) this Episode:

Connect with Warren

Top Recommended Next Episode: The Dunning-Kruger Effect (episode 198)

Already Heard That One? Try These

Other Important Links: 

Check out What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia