QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life Hardcover – Sep 9 2004
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QBQ! by John G. Miller is a motivational primer aimed at purging the "blame, complaining, and procrastination" from the workplace. Miller believes that one of the hallmarks of today's business culture is a lack of personal accountability; he prescribes the cure in this series of short stories and personal observations drawn from his years of experience running his organizational development firm. His main point is that positive change begins with individuals changing themselves: "Instead of asking, 'When will others walk their talk?' let's walk our talk first." The result is choppy (39 chapters in 115 pages), and at times Miller's advice boils down to truism and cliché. Nevertheless, managers whose workplaces demand remedial, straightforward advice should find a useful tool here. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This is a quick but deep book that explores the role of personal accountability in one's work and personal life. In his own work experience, Miller found that many people look for others to blame their problems and conflicts on. He proposes that instead of asking who is to blame for the situation, we should ask, "What can I do to improve the situation?" Only by being able to ask this "question behind the question" can we take ownership of the problem and start working toward a solution. Throughout the book, Miller (who has consulted for major corporations with his firm, QBQ, Inc.) recounts real-world situations—in customer service, retail sales, personal relationships and the corporate boardroom—and the positive and not-so-positive ways they were handled. Each example reinforces the message that personal accountability and ownership of a problem not only leads to a resolution but also lifts people willing to take ownership and action above those looking to play the "blame game." From responsibility, says the author, comes leadership and greater career opportunities. In one's personal life, Miller says, ownership of conflict can also lead to enhanced relationships and greater enjoyment of daily life.
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Top Customer Reviews
Complaints about the lack of resources, changing relationships, new technology abound.
Historically it has been easy for me to join in with the mob and focus on how awful and unfair things are.
As a counselor I know how hard it is for people to change their thinking patterns - and even though I know how to help others change their thinking patterns, I have often had trouble myself challenging my "thinking errors."
Then I read John's book. And it is amazing. John gets to the root of the issue not by asking the reader to analyze their pattern or the roots of their issue but by having the reader shift their behavior - shift your behavior by focusing on the words - specifically the questions - you ask.
After my second - or maybe third read - I have a heightened sense of the "lousy questions" that pepper conversations, discussions and negotiations with colleagues. (Its almost like, unconsciously people want to be a victim).
This quick read contains so much grist for thought - each time I read it I recognize more ways to step up to the plate an practice personal accountability.
Get this book - read it a couple of times and see for yourself!
For years in my life, without realizing it, I had been asking questions that wrongly deflected responsibility from me to my family, friends and associates. Not only was that punishing them, it kept me from growing and becoming the husband, father and friend I wanted to be. QBQ helped me to "reframe" different situations and start asking questions that would yield positive solutions rather than dwell on problems.
With a healthy dose of humor, Miller shows us in thirty nine bite-size chapters how to accept responsibility for our own choices, actions and attitude. QBQ will show you how to approach your daily life situations with better questions. Better questions will yield better answers. Better answers will yield better long-term results.
Larry Hehn, Author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory
The book is packaged in a palatable feel-good package which will make it ripe for the plucking for corporate management looking for the next "Who moved my cheese" or "Emotional Intellegence."
Bottom line - the book is simple common sence. The message? Stop playing the complain and blame game, take responsibility for your actions, make your own choices, and get on with your life.
I have to belive that the reviewers who are rating this as "the best read ever" have a woefully small library. I do think that the premise of the book is very valid, however the book is more fluff than substance.
If you are interested in the personal actions that help with following a path of personal accountability, I suggest you look at the ideas behind Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) which gives you a working model of how to apply the ideas of personal accountability to your own thinking.
Miller starts off by illustrating incorrect questions (IQ's). IQ's focus on things or people outside or external to us. Some examples might be "When will he learn to manage better?", "Why can't they see my point-of-view?", "Why can't they hire better workers?". IQ's tend to sap our energy and deflate our spirit.
IQ's do, however, seem to come naturally, perhaps as a result of human nature. Miller often asks groups of people what's the one thing they would like to change in their organizations. The answers always follow the external P's: that is, change the policies, procedures, prices, and other people. "Nobody ever says me." As an example, look at the following questions and see what is the first response that comes to mind.
-A poor subordinate blames the _____.
-A poor executive blames the _____.
-A poor driver blames the _____.
-A poor church member blames the _____.
Although these thoughts or questions may be natural, they lead us into blame, complaining, and procrastination. Miller's solution is to discipline our thoughts and to look behind our initial questions to come up with better questions-or, as he terms it, the question behind the question (QBQ).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Really surprised by this little book. It has definitely got me rethinking any negativity in my workplace and trying to succeed within my box outright.Published on April 27 2014 by Hugh Gough
book was easy to read, took about an hour-2 hours to finish. I believe that it is an essential skill for all professional occupations to acquire.Published on Dec 19 2013 by Toni
Those looking for nuance or a comprehensive study must look elsewhere. This is a one note song about the need for personal accountability. Which isn't actually a bad thing. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2013 by Rodge
Enjoyed it so much we used it as a topic in a two day management seminar in our company and it was well recived by all attending.Published on Dec 24 2012 by Larry Holmes
Normally, I have a fair amount to say after reading a book. In the case of this one, not so much. Mostly because it's stuff I've long believed, lived, espoused. Read morePublished on May 25 2010 by Schmadrian
After reading this book, and then going on Amazon and seeing the ridiculous amount of prise this book has received has forced me to review "What I can do? Read morePublished on March 10 2007 by IB Analyst
For everyone forced by management to read this book and/or take the class I will summarize it for you: Quit you're whining and accept the fact that your company is the way it is,... Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by Kindle Customer
I am in the real estate/investment business and when I read QBQ! it changed completely for the better the way I think. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by F. Bonzo
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