Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

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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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"An extreme case I heard about recently involved a house owner with a Filipino maid. The owner liked the maid and wanted to personalize the relationship only to be rebuffed repeatedly. The maid quit ... Read full review

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User Review  - Fouad_Bendris - LibraryThing

Another one amazing book which has definitely brainstorming myself in the crucial world of "How to Ask" - We all made errors and therefore fundamental basics would help ! " Good communication requires ... Read full review


Creating Positive Relationships and Effective Organizations
1 Humble Inquiry
2 Humble Inquiry in PracticeCase Examples
3 Differentiating Humble Inquiry from Other Kinds of Inquiry
4 The Culture of Do and Tell
5 Status Rank and Role Boundaries as Inhibitors
6 Forces Inside Us as Inhibitors
7 Developing the Attitude of Humble Inquiry
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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.