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Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help Hardcover – February 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 167 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157675863X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576758632
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Edgar H. Schein is currently a Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and continues at the Sloan School part time as a Senior Lecturer. He is also the Founding Editor of "Reflections" the Journal of the Society for Organizational Learning devoted to connecting academics, consultants, and practitioners around the issues of knowledge creation, dissemination and utilization. He has had a notable mark on the field of organizational development in many areas, including career development, group process consultation, and organizational culture. Schein has been a prolific researcher, writer, teacher and consultant. Besides his numerous articles in professional journals he has authored fourteen books including Organizational Psychology. He is generally credited with inventing the term 'Corporate Culture'.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 31 customer reviews
This book is a must for anyone in a helping role, be it a consultant, manager or teacher.
Sunita Sehmi
An excellently written book that seamlessly links the theoretical underpinnings of helping to their practical application with real life examples.
Amazon Customer
For me the book has been eye opening, because the process of offering and giving help has always been exciting for me.
R. Morel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel R. Wilson on April 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Schein is one of the great names in organizational behavior. That said, why did he write a book on something as "obvious" as how to help people? It's because helping people is one of the trickiest things in the world to do right. You will agree with me if your attempts to help someone--or your failure to help--ever blew up in your face, or if you have tried to help people who really needed it and they turned a cold shoulder to you.

Dr. Schein analyzes the ego shifts that accompany needing help, asking for help, offering help, providing help, and so on. He explains the tenderness of the ego as it navigates through all of these shifting states.

He also introduced me to the notion of "social economics." For example: if I hold a door open for a stranger as we enter an office building I inwardly set an expectation of a thank you from the stranger. I think, "You owe me." It's dumb, but I see myself in that example. As the stakes get serious with co-workers, bosses, spouses, and friends it becomes increasingly important to be fluent with the social economics of the situation you are in.

This book has increased my sensitivity to the dynamics that surround the art of helping. I am also much more alert to recognizing the "state" of my relationships and to accounting for the social economics that are in play. I don't want to be unaware of a debt that someone has assigned to me, and I don't want to chalk up obligations that exist only in my own imagination.

This is a how-to book with wide applications, and I recommend it highly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on August 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Edgar H. Schein has compiled a helpful guide for those who have difficulty in mastering that somewhat tricky & misunderstood task of (a) giving help & (b) receiving help. Clearly, with personal egos that come into play, there are ways of engaging others in such a way to make the process go smoothly. Of course, so much of that is handled poorly, and good intentions are nullified; the end result is often total chaos.

Typically, people in business who receive "help" from someone who is potentially "career threatening" (aka the boss), may think there are hidden agendas that come into play, and wonder if that person is really trying to help; or set them up for a backstabbing attack. This is an unfortunate, but all too common scenario in many organizations. The key is being able to establish an environment of mutual trust and respect; that creates a common bond between all parties and the spirit of teamwork usually comes into play; the results are usually favorable.

Although the advice given in this book is somewhat pedestrian, it is based on good old-fashioned common sense; and there's not enough of that going on anywhere lately. This book certainly helps!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Diantha Millott on March 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Being in a profession where I am employed to "Help" others, (Personal Trainer) it is easy to fall into the trap of just telling people what to do without really helping them. This book dissects our relationships with others, both professional and personal, in order to better understand how to approach them in a more productive way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Verble on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is the latest by the person who first described the importance of culture within an organization. He has spent his career studying organizations and people in them and working in process consultation and organization and human development. He has contributed a long list of significant works to the literature of the field. This book is not, however, academic or theoretical. It is a very personal statement of beliefs about the role of the helping professional and speaks to other helping professionals at a personal level. It raises questions that can lead the reader to refine her or his perspective on the role of the helper and the practice of helping as both a professional and person to person. What does it mean to help someone? When is help helpful and when is it not? What is the role of the helped in being helped? For most of us helping is a one way process based on good intentions. This work redefines that process as a relationship and describes what is necessary for it to work for both the giver and the receiver. Schein further turns our notions of helping on their heads by introducing the belief that successful help depends on humility on the part of the helper (no matter how good his or her intentions) and equitability in the relationship between helper and the helped. If you are open to some deep reflection and significant new insight into how you operate as a helping person whether professional or personal I strongly recommend this book. It can reframe both your aspirations and your approach. It did mine.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Edgar H. Schein on February 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am reviewing my own book to let future readers know that this is advice and analysis for the general audience because we are all in the position of offering and receiving help of all kinds all the time. Giving directions, helping kids with homework, getting advice from a friend, taking care of a loved one all have to be understood and managed to insure that the help will be helpful.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Cook Johnson on March 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having read Edgar Schein's "Organizational Culture and Leadership", I assumed that "Helping" would follow that influential and enduring work. So,it was with pleasure that I discovered that "Helping" resembles a fascinating conversation with this thoughtful and compassionate scholar.

For anyone who has been a "helper", this book lays out the dynamics of the giving and receiving aspects of relationships on different levels. At a time when courtesy in our society is becoming something of a lost art, I urge you to read Dr. Schein's latest contribution and share it with others.
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