Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Book Review - Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

About the Book

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.

My Take on the Book
This was a short read but it really brought in some great thinking from the author after many years of researching and presenting on the benefits of the concepts of humble inquiry. This book articulates his concepts of first, what humble inquiry actually is and then he goes further into how inquiry can be seen as both an art and science. 

The book is short but packed with great examples of what humble inquiry is as well as examples of  opportunities where this type of inquiry was missed. 

The book is written in a way that all can understand and the concepts are practical enough to allow all to start using right away. 

Schein shows you that humble inquiry is something that you do have to work at and build into your life. It is not something that comes overnight, but as he explains, it is an attitude that you also have to embody. 

The book is a great book. It is filled with great ways to start developing the attitude of humble inquiry as well as allows you to see the benefits of using this way of thinking in the workplace too. 

All-in-all this is a great book that really allows you to start making positive changes for the future.
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