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Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling Paperback – September 2, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 351 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling
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  • Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust (The Humble Leadership Series)
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  • Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An invaluable guide for a consultant trying to understand and untangle system and interpersonal knots. Written with a beguiling simplicity and clarity, it is laden with wisdom and practicality.”  
—Irvin Yalom, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Stanford University

“The lessons contained in this deceptively simple book reach beyond the author’s experience gained from a lifetime of consultation to organizations of all sizes and shapes. It provides life lessons for us all. If, as a result of reading this book, you begin to practice the art of humble asking, you will have taken an important step toward living wisely.”
—Samuel Jay Keyser, Peter de Florez Professor Emeritus, MIT

“This book seriously challenges leaders to re-examine the emphasis on task orientation and ‘telling’ subordinates how best to do their jobs. Humble Inquiry increases organizational capacity to learn more from cross-cultural teamwork, reduces stress, and increases organizational engagement and productivity.”
—Jyotsna Sanzgiri, MBA, PhD, Professor, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University

“This book is particularly important for leaders who in these complex times need advice and tools for building trust in their relationships with subordinates individually or in teams.”
—Danica Purg, President, IEDC-Bled School of Management, Bled, Slovenia

“This book is an exercise in inquiry by a recognized master of humble insight.”
—Art Kleiner, Editor-in-Chief, Booz & Company/strategy+business

“Ed Schein has provided a new and thoughtful reframing of interpersonal dynamics through the notion of Humble Inquiry. This short book is packed with insights as Schein rigorously explores the impact of his ideas in his usually clear and readable style.”
—Michael Brimm, Professor of Organizational Behavior, INSEAD Europe

Humble Inquiry is an elegant treatment of how to go about building and sustaining solid, trusting relationships in or out of the workplace. A masterful take on a critical human skill too infrequently practiced.”
—John Van Maanen, Erwin Schell Professor of Management and Professor of Organization Studies, MIT

“A fast read and full of insight! Schein uses stories from his personal life and his successful career as a process consultant that pointedly ask, ‘How willing are you to cast aside hierarchy? How personal are you willing to be?’ Considering the cultural, occupational, generational, and gender communication barriers we face every day, Humble Inquiry proposes a very practical, nonthreatening approach to bridging those gaps and increasing the mutual understanding that leads to operational excellence.”
—Rosa Antonia Carrillo, MSOD, safety leadership consultant

“A remarkably valuable guide for anyone interested in leading more effectively and building strong relationships. Ed Schein presents vivid examples grounded in a lifetime of experience as husband, father, teacher, administrator, and consultant.”
—Robert B. McKersie, Professor Emeritus, Sloan School of Management, MIT

“Ed Schein has an eye for bold yet subtle insights into the big picture and a knack for writing about them clearly. Humble Inquiry—like his previous book Helping—shows that he is equally talented at bringing fresh thinking to well-trodden ground.”
—Grady McGonagill, EdD, Principal, McGonagill Consulting

“What did I gain from reading Humble Inquiry? I became more aware of the subtle but powerful ways we affect each other as we talk and how the right kind of questions can dramatically improve the quality and efficiency of communication, with benefits that range from increased patient safety and satisfaction to employee motivation and morale to organizational performance. You can’t afford to not know about this.”
—Anthony Suchman, MD, MA, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

“With the world as his classroom, Ed Schein continues to guide us through modern day chaos with the powerful behaviors of Helping and Humble Inquiry. This is a must-read for anyone who truly wishes to achieve important goals!”
—Marjorie M. Godfrey, Codirector, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice Microsystem Academy

“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

“Schein helps us understand the importance of transcending hierarchy and authority to build authentic relationships predicated on trust and respect. Humble iInquiry is a powerful approach to building safe environments for our people and, ultimately, our patients.”
—Gary S. Kaplan MD, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Health System

“Quiet wisdom from an expert, enlivened by personal examples. Insightful and easy to read, it made me look again at my own behavior in my relationships, both at work and in the home.”
—Charles Handy

Book Description

From one of the true giants in organizational development, career development and organizational psychology comes a simple and effective technique for building more positive relationships―particularly between people of different status―that will lead to more honest and open interactions and stronger organizations.

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
351 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on January 22, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2017
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Top international reviews

Richard J. Newton
4.0 out of 5 stars likeable simple, but powerful, advice
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2020
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AK
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent compact guide on leadership through questions / curiosity
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2017
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Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully simple
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2016
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S. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Humility is a valuable quality in the world of work
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2018
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randy
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for leaders and parents alike.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2018
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Andy Green
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read - in my humble opinion
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2018
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J. Baker
3.0 out of 5 stars If listening isn’t a strong point, and to like the sound of your own voice - but this.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 17, 2018
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john
4.0 out of 5 stars Made me reflect
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2017
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Richard E-S
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2014
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Andy Green
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone wanting to achieve real change ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 11, 2018
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Yves Tchoudi/Agnes Ngassa
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 22, 2017
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Anastasia
2.0 out of 5 stars Was quite disappointed, as non of the ideas was new for ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2018
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Richard McCrory, Nephrology Trainee
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, insightful. The book encourages you to ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2015
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P. Hogg
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2016
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Apostolos
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book and easy to read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 19, 2019
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