Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work” as Want to Read:
Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,371 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Questions are at the core of how we listen, behave, think, and relate--as individuals and organizations. Virtually everything we think and do is generated by questions. Questions push us into new territories. The future begins with our thinking, represented by the questions we ask ourselves."Change Your Questions, Change Your Life" shows readers how to consistently choose ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,371 ratings  ·  151 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work
Kate Smith
Apr 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Read this for a work book club. Only affirms my distaste for this genre, as the prose was riddled with exclamation points, unfunny jokes and obvious statements about how to exist in the world. When one of the biggest takeaways can be boiled down to "stop and think", I struggle to justify the two hours I'll never get back post- reading this. One star only because it hints at the good truth that we are the masters of our own minds and we choose how we react to situations we find ourselves in. ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
While the content feels a bit obvious and the story more than a bit cheesy, I found this book very powerful. Shifting from "Judger" to "Learner" mindset in daily conversation has profound impact. The author provides a great summary at the end for easy reference and I am excited to make concerted effort to implement the ideas I learned. Definitely worth the read. ...more
Crystal Johnson
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author uses a story to teach her points. It could be shorter but the story makes it easy to take in the concepts. Overall I recommend.


-Become an observer to notice if you're having "judging" questions or "learning" questions.
-Judging questions are negative and constricting
-Learning questions are and expansive
-We’re al recovery judgers. We can’t get rid of out judging habits but with commitment, focus, we can guide ourselves back to learner. Practice learner to make it more habit.
ron btdtbttsawio
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
There are some really basic concepts that could have been covered in half the space, but the story was interesting to follow.
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm amazed that how the author can write a book based on a one-page essay. There might be some truth in it but it just has been buried under nonsense. ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Work-required read. 3.5 stars for the ideas, but OH MY GOD save me from the true life story to sell it all. I could have just used the charts and bullet points.
Kahea Clark
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The moment anything happens to us, that's when we start asking ourselves questions. The sooner we recognize what we're asking, the better" (pg 65)

Absolutely loved this book. I recommend this to any leader, educator, professional, college student, husband, wife, etc. The ideas discussed are very relevant and applicable in todays era. The themes can be utilized in most any stage of life and nearly every form of work. The concepts that Marilee Adams reviews are broken down into the simple question
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There’s value in the basic principle, but I think the choice of “business fable” was the wrong way to write this book.

The story is generic and cliche (the main character works at a blank company that makes “products”, is failing in his new leadership position, is introduced to a mentor who solves all his problems). His flaws and bad choices are so stupidly obvious that I found myself getting irrationally irritated.

Rolled my eyes constantly and half expected the characters to say things like “Gee
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this book very irritating at first, as I didn't choose it for a work of well written fiction but simply to learn some more about asking good questions. I found the attempts at descriptions of office carpet etc tedious and irrelevant. Eventually the parable got to the point but was quite belaboured and drawn out - I suspect to make it PhD worthy?! The concept is simple: we can choose how to respond, with either unhelpful questions that get us stuck or more helpful questions that help us m ...more
Manish Ramesh
Oct 13, 2020 rated it liked it
1. The book could have easily been a 'booklet' because the core idea of question-thinking can essentially be condensed to those many pages.
2. Having said that, I liked this approach which is an elaboration on "put yourself in somebody else's shoes"
3. The judger mentality has definitely impeded a lot of efforts for me personally, both in personal and professional spheres. The learner-judger distinguishment, like a lot of mental models is easy to explain but tough to adhere to unless we start bei
C. Spencer Reynolds
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great book! The ability to use the "Choice Map" and go down the learner Path instead of the Judger Path has been a powerful addition to my life! My whole business is based on teaching and mentoring people how to achieve success in their lives with better questions = QuestioningSuccess! So it was even more proof of the validity of my core message. This is a great read if you are ready to start looking at your questions. ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: od
Written in a somewhat pedantic tone, this book nevertheless introduced how questions play a vital role in solving problems differently, relating to others, and to ourselves. The frameworks introduced are intuitive and memorable, with straightforward application for one's own reflection, for coaching sessions, or group meetings. I intend to take a few of these question practices back to work -- and keep them in mind for personal use, too. ...more
Shaeley Santiago
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The story leads us through some key principles and questions we can ask ourselves in order to improve our situation. The diagram that comes along with the book of how asking questions can open up new paths is something I still refer to.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio book of this. The book itself was easy to follow and reminded me of fairytale for adults - with simple examples and results. On the very last chapter does the actual summary and guidance come in. Never the less, I think I'll be more aware of my questions and how I can handle my own life to improve it and "don't feed my judger". ...more
Katherine Fossler
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I 'read' this one on audio book and it took a second time to really have the principles sink in.
Yes I do believe it CAN be life changing - we are limited by the questions we ask and I have always believe in the power of curiosity.
Katelyn Steven
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Helpful insights shared using narrative as opposed to textbook style - which I always enjoy- plus practical tips, charts and structured advice, which I’ve already implemented and shared with others.

Theory is along the same lines as fixed vs growth mindset stuff, but I appreciated the different perspective & approach this author used. Some sections over-explained the concepts, but I just skimmed over those to the next juicy part. Overall I really liked it and do recommend.
Neşe Gök
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Does not need to be so long, many parts are explained twice.
However general idea is useful and practical.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
The nuggets in this are not worth the tortured narrative fable. This is one of those books that could have been a blog post or a magazine article.
Navaneethakrishnan Gopalakrishnan
One of the best book I've come across so far. In simple terms, it is all about how our questions can change our life. Talk less, and listen more. When we heed to others, we get to know more about what they are trying to convey and we can have more insights on what they are talking about. A communication will be more effective, when each try to ask more questions to have a better understanding instead of telling. When we try to tell something to someone, it is more about we are trying to avoid to ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Students of communication
With an amateurish story, written to illustrate (and advertise) her methods, a consultant describes "QT," or question thinking. While I like the methods, I don't believe the story goes far enough to successfully show how to use the methods in real life. Rather, it is clearly a book-length advertisement for the program, and an attempt to get the reader to visit Adams' website and presumably enroll in training or purchase other materials to flesh out the methods.

The methods themselves are grounde
Alysha Decker
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was recommended this book by a professional leadership consultant at work. This was not as valuable as I had hoped it would be for growing leadership in the workplace. The key concept is valid, but the book could have probably been a long article instead. Adams' key point is to ask questions rather than make judgements when you're working in a leadership position. There are some valuable tools for sure here, but I found the prose "story" style of the book difficult to enjoy. ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent insight and a nice short read.
Nathan Albright
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge-2020
This book is one of many in business that revolves around presenting a fake but "realistic" scenario in order to present the main character going through a change of heart and attitude and behavior that is meant to mirror that of the reader in adopting a new approach to managing that encourages changing one's questioning approach in order to lead to better success as well as more unity among teams. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as business books have long adopted the fable as the form in ...more
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! This author helped me to examine the questions I ask myself when challenging issues arise. There is a link referenced in the book to a choice map. I downloaded that and hung it on my office wall. It has been a great reminder of the fact that I choose moment by moment. Do I want to be a learner, and ask myself thoughtful questions, leading to solution focused / win-win outcomes, or do I want to be in the judger pit; asking myself whose fault it is, what's wrong with them, and w ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
In its day, I imagine this book flying off shelves. Those were the days when we sat in Barnes & Noble (Borders, even!) for hours on end, sipping our mocha frappalattes and enjoying the dream of burgeoning corporate America.

But in 2020, the narrative style reads like something from a bygone era. Ringing with subtle hints of latent misogyny and bureaucracy, the story is almost a corporate re-envisioning of The Celestine Prophecy . Change your framework, change your outcomes. It's all part of a
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am amazed by this book! It is a total mindset change. The ability to stop and consider am I am judgment mode or learner mode, I have discovered I judge others and myself all the time. Now that I quickly becoming aware of my thoughts, I am now asking myself the questions about a person, relationship, and or situation and quickly gaining new insight.

I can no longer play victim as a result of reading this book. No more blame game!

Read this book if you want to change you life - no kidding!

PS - as
Vianey H
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Questions can really help guide you. Better questions —opens the mind. I learned much from this book and suspect I will return to read again. I have adopted some of the switching questions to keep me plugged into learner. And new ones have been added.

“Awareness, commitment, compassion, courage, forgiveness, acceptance—with a dash of humor—that’s what it takes to keep recovering ourselves and resetting our course back to the Learner path”.

I love the idea of what it takes to stay on this Learner
Stephen Stilwell
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
You have the power to choose your reactions; will you learn more about the situation, or will you emotionally judge yourself and others? When life is begging for your thoughts and feelings, will you ask: Why am I so careless? Why am I a failure? Why Bother? Or, instead: What happened? What are my choices? What’s best to do now? Events, good and bad, flow through our lives like a river. When you mindfully paddle, you master the ability to avoid rocks and find less turbulent waters within the rapi ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bizbooks
This « biz book » (more precisely personal development one) is very atypical since it has as a ground layer a novel (with characters, desire, conflicts). Of course, the purpose is not (just) to tell a story but rather to rely on that story to convey the core of the author’s methodology. In a few words: rather than judging (and very often with a negative connotation) use the power of asking questions (to you or to the others). As for this, the book seams to long to me. I’d have preferred more pra ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Liminal Thinking
  • Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives
  • How to Train Your Mind: Exploring the Productivity Benefits of Meditation
  • The Mental Toughness Advantage: A 5-Step Program to Boost Your Resilience and Reach Your Goals
  • The Power of Self-Coaching: The Five Essential Steps to Creating the Life You Want
  • Coaching Questions: A Coach's Guide to Powerful Asking Skills
  • Supercoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone's Life
  • Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - the Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership (People Skills for Professionals)
  • The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth
  • Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
  • Long Bright River
  • Meditation in Action
  • EQ Applied: The Real-World Guide to Emotional Intelligence
  • Now You Know
  • The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World
  • Solution Focus : Coaching, Leadership, Conversations Constructives
  • Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster
See similar books…
Marilee Adams, Ph.D., is an author, executive coach, facilitator, and professional speaker. She is president and founder of the Inquiry Institute, a consulting, coaching, and educational organization and the originator of the QUESTION THINKING™ methodologies.

Marilee is the author of Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching and Life, 3rd edition, a best-se

News & Interviews

Some interesting news for book nerds: According to recent industry research, book sales spiked dramatically in 2020–otherwise a rather...
9 likes · 3 comments
“Blame keeps us stuck in the past. Responsibility paves the path for a better future.” 3 likes
“Things happen to us all the time. You don’t have much choice about that. But where we do have choice is in what we do with what happens.” 1 likes
More quotes…