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Press Release: Humble Inquire by Edgar Schein

Humble Inquiry:
The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

by Edgar H. Schein

“I have had the privilege of working with Ed Schein. Reading Humble Inquiry I could hear his voice asking me those humble questions that joined us in a mutual search for the answer. His book distills what he has learned and practiced in a lifetime of helping high-powered leaders be even more successful.”
-Anthony F. Earley, Jr., Chairman, CEO and President, PG&E Corporation

We live in a culture of Doing and Telling. In our interactions, particularly when we are in charge, we tell people what we think they need to know or should do instead of building relationships with them.

Humble Inquiry builds the kinds of positive, trusting, balanced relationships that encourage open interactions in both our professional and personal lives. 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 other words, do ask.

In this seminal work, inspired by his years of work on safety in high-hazard industries and the health-care system, Schein contrasts Humble Inquiry with other kinds of inquiry while showing the benefits Humble Inquiry offers in many diverse settings. Schein highlights how to overcome the cultural, organizational, and psychological barriers that keep us from practicing such a positive form of inquiry. This is a major new contribution to how we see human dynamics and relationships, presented in a compact and eminently practical way.

Edgar H. Schein is the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His previous books include Helping; Process Consultation Revisited; The Corporate Culture Survival Guide; DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC; Organizational Culture and Leadership; and Career Anchors.

Publication date: August 2013, $18.95, paperback, 192 pages, 5 ½" x 8 ½"
ISBN 9781609949815 Business/Organizational Culture