Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Front Cover
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Sep 2, 2013 - Business & Economics - 144 pages
Communication is essential in a healthy organization. But all too often when we interact with people—especially those who report to us—we simply tell them what we think they need to know. This shuts them down. To generate bold new ideas, to avoid disastrous mistakes, to develop agility and flexibility, we need to practice Humble Inquiry.

Ed Schein defines Humble Inquiry as “the fine art of drawing someone out, of asking questions to which you do not know the answer, of building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person.” In this seminal work, Schein contrasts Humble Inquiry with other kinds of inquiry, shows the benefits Humble Inquiry provides in many different settings, and offers advice on overcoming the cultural, organizational, and psychological barriers that keep us from practicing it.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thegreatape - LibraryThing

I only got about halfway through this. The book's core idea is wonderful: that the best way to build rapport with other people is through asking questions with a open mind, genuine curiosity and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phoenixcomet - LibraryThing

This book is about building relationships, particularly in the work environment. Recognizing that people come from different backgrounds with different perceptions of authority and how authority ... Read full review

Contents

Creating Positive Relationships and Effective Organizations
1
1 Humble Inquiry
7
2 Humble Inquiry in PracticeCase Examples
21
3 Differentiating Humble Inquiry from Other Kinds of Inquiry
39
4 The Culture of Do and Tell
53
5 Status Rank and Role Boundaries as Inhibitors
69
6 Forces Inside Us as Inhibitors
83
7 Developing the Attitude of Humble Inquiry
99
Notes
111
Acknowledgments
113
Index
115
About the Author
119
Author Awards
123
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Edgar H. Schein is the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and a Professor Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the author of many articles and books, including Helping; Process Consultation Revisited; The Corporate Culture Survival Guide; DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC; Organizational Culture and Leadership; and Career Anchors. He has defined the field of organizational culture and has consulted with many organizations in the United States and overseas.