If anyone in the mortgage industry has ever played the party game ’I Have Never’ over a couple drinks, they will know that the best team building exercises are often those that involve your colleagues revealing a few home truths.
This is the concept behind the latest book from Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler. The Question Book is their follow-up to The Decision Book, which was one of the bestselling business titles of 2011.
The Question Book is made up of 42 chapters, each of which comprises a series of questions on subjects ranging from sex, money and possessions, to happiness and friends.
There is space in the book to write your own answers but the best idea would be to write them down separately.
The publication is intended to be used on your own, like a journal, or with colleagues and friends.
Be warned, though, a few of the questions could become a bit tricky if you were answering them with your colleagues, such as ’What does your boss really think of you?’ and ’What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?’ – not to mention the questions about your sex life.
The premise looks simple and you may find yourself asking why somebody is charging £9.99 for a book that is merely made up of questions.
But as the authors point out, the 616 questions they have chosen were not randomly conjured up one afternoon down the pub, but have been designed to be stimulating, revealing and challenging and to make the reader question what they know about themselves and those around them.
Answers to questions such as ’What makes you happy?’ and ’What have you learned recently?’ may seem obvious but when you actually sit down and think about them, the results may be surprising.
The book is also designed to help you reassess what you have achieved so far in your career and where you are heading in life, so it could prove useful if you are in the middle of a career crisis.
The section on money also provides some useful questions that could be used when you are assessing your client’s finances, such as ’Who owes you money?’ and ’Have you ever been in financial trouble?’
There are also some questions that might prove more revealing than an Abbey for Intermediaries mortgage application, such as ’Do you play the lottery?’ and ’How much money will your children inherit when you die?’
The book is not for everyone, though, and some people will find many of the questions too intrusive or too personal to answer in public.
Also, from a personal perspective, it may force many to answer questions they would prefer not to know the answer to, such as ’What have you regretted doing?’ or ’Do you show favouritism towards any of your children?’
Of course, this means that if you do decide to write your answers directly on the page, this is not a volume to leave on the kitchen table.
The book would fit in just as easily in the games aisle of a shop as it does in the book section.
In a world where companies spend large sums of money on team building days, The Question Book could offer the same result for a fraction of the price – and you could probably also discover a lot more about yourself and your colleagues by answering some of the questions it poses.
Book review by Natalie Thomas