290: Hal Gregersen on Asking Better Questions


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By Eric Zimmer|Wondery. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Hal Gregersen is the Executive Director of the Leadership Center at MIT. He is a prolific author and motivational speaker recognized by Thinkers 500 as one of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Minds. In this episode, Eric and Hal discuss his book, Questions are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life.

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In This Interview, Hal Gregersen and I Discuss…

  • His book, Questions are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life
  • That whether we know it or not, we’re all living questions
  • Keystone questions
  • Shadow questions
  • How he discovered his questions
  • The heart attack that changed his life
  • His shadow questions
  • Asking better questions
  • Competing Commitments
  • Underlying assumptions
  • Alexander Papaderos
  • How if you want better answers, you’ve got to ask better questions
  • That if you feel stuck you’re probably asking the wrong question
  • Brainstorming questions without answering them
  • Why we don’t ask good questions
  • Catalytic questions that challenge false assumptions
  • How wanting to be right and smart stops us from getting to better questions
  • What if you woke up and asked, what am I dead wrong about today?
  • That if you’re not making big enough mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough
  • The danger of moving into smaller and smaller tribes that are founded on being right
  • Actively seeking passive data – observing and listening
  • The power of the pause
  • Listening to understand vs listening to defend
  • How can I find and reflect the light in you?

Hal Gregersen Links:



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The Upper Room – a global ministry where you can join a worldwide community of Christian believers in daily prayer and devotional practice. Go to www.upperroom.org/welcome to get a free 30-day trial

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