Humble Inquiry

The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling
By Edgar Schein
144 Pages

Buy the Book

his book is built around the notion that if you want to effectively influence people, the best way to connect with them is through humility and curiosity. Schein offers a Socratic approach to building relationships in a way that can tangibly influence direction. Some of the ideas here are notably aligned with Jim Collins’ notion of “Level 5 Leadership” in that the differentiating characteristic of the leaders that Schein profiles is their humility and fierce resolve to learn and do better. When leaders are humble and curious, their thirst to understand shines through all their interactions and they become much more approachable to stakeholders. Similarly, Schein argues that when leaders genuinely display their desire to be helpful — and to see other people’s point of view — they are much more effective. A provocative and worthy book.

– D. R. Conant

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