The Power of Asking the Right Questions

January 7, 2014 — 4 Comments



Some think tenacity is the secret to following through on New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s more about asking the right questions and having the confidence to act on them.

I talked with my friend Don Norman recently about the value of asking interesting questions—a central tenant of design thinking. Don is a fascinating guy. A former Apple exec, academic, and author of The Design of Everyday Things, his latest adventure is teaching an online course at Udacity based on key concepts from his book.

The two of us sat down at IDEO to discuss how design thinking not only makes you better at design, but also gives you a set of problem-solving tools to help improve everything in your life, from advancing your career to throwing a great dinner party. Below, you’ll find a video of our conversation, which is also part of Don’s “Introduction to the Design of Everyday Things” class.

Whatever you’ve resolved to do this year—exercise more, learn a language, change jobs—I hope you’ll take my advice on how to start designing your life to create real, lasting, and meaningful change in 2014.

What questions are you asking yourself in the New Year?

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

Tim Brown


4 responses to The Power of Asking the Right Questions

  1. So true, I leverage DT mindset and principles to help me be a better parent and a better partner. Asking my teenagers questions, not from a position of power, but from a position of wanting to understand what is going on in their world, their thoughts, wants, desires at any point, allows them to feel safe in responding truthfully. Taking to the time to realize how critical questions are may slow you down just enough to put more thought into the questions you ask AND how you ask them. Great piece. Thank you

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