Have you ever read a book that was so good that you needed to share it with others? Well, last weekend, I happened to download a really good book on my Kindle app, and I blasted through it within a couple of days. It’s a really easy read with very short chapters. Each chapter gets straight to the point, which I really like! Anyway, the book is called QBQ! The Question Behind The Question.
The Question Behind the Question has to do with practicing personal accountability at work and in life. It’s so easy to blame others for when something goes wrong at work or within the family. Amazing, extraordinary people, though, are able to stop blaming others and simply embrace personal responsibility. Sure, all of our jobs “out in the real world” would be a lot easier if every employee within our companies shouldered their own personal responsibility in their positions. But, the unfortunate reality is that people don’t always approach their work in this way. Many of us end up picking up the slack of others.
According to the book, this is simply a great opportunity for you to be an exceptional employee, husband, father, team member, and so on.
One of the primary keys to personal responsibility is taking ownership within the organization. According to QBQ!, “Ownership does not require having an equity stake in the organization or holding an official position of leadership. It simply means facing problems head-on instead of blaming, complaining, procrastinating, or making excuses. Ownership is personal accountability in its purest form.”
At work and at home, stuff will happen. Our fellow employees will drop the ball on a critical work project. Our spouse will forget to take care of an important family financial detail. Our kids will fail to do their chores around the house. As a result, we can blame everyone else around us, or we can assume the responsibility and attempt to correct the problem.
Does this mean that we chase everyone around at work and home with a giant “pooper scooper” and clean up everybody else’s messes? No, not necessarily. What it may mean for us, though, that we strive to set the bar a little higher at home and on the job.
We model personal responsibility to our co-workers and family, first. Then, we turn around and encourage a spirit of personal ownership to those around us.
The Foundation of QBQ: Ask Better Questions
The key concept behind QBQ! is asking ourselves questions.
But, instead of asking questions like:
“Why don’t others work harder?”
“Why is this happening to me?”
“Why do they make it so difficult for me to do my job?”
“Why don’t I ever get a break?”
“Why don’t people care as much as I do?”
We need to ask ourselves better, more empowering questions. The formula for creating a quality QBQ is the following:
- Begin with “What” or “How” (not “Why,” “When,” or “Who”).
- Contain an “I” (not “they,” “we,” or “you”).
- Focus on action.
The question “What can I do?” follows this 3-step formula, perfectly.
Instead of focusing your time and energy on a bunch of ineffective questions that lead to stress and disappointment, decide today that you will pursue creating better questions that lead to way better results at work and in your life.
Questions: Do have a tendency to ask too many “Why me?” questions? What do you need to do to start asking yourself better quality questions? Have you ordered your copy of QBQ! yet?