Humble Inquiry

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

by Edgar H. Schein

Retired MIT Sloan School of Management professor Edgar Schein asserts, “Without good upward communication, organizations can be neither effective nor safe… Your organization may be underperforming because various employees or groups do not recognize the degree to which they are, in fact, interdependent.” The gist of this book is about creating a trusting environment with open communication across hierarchical boundaries. This entails less telling, more asking, and better listening.

“The U.S. culture is strongly built on the tacit assumptions of pragmatism, individualism, and status through achievement… Given those cultural biases, doing and telling are inevitably valued more than asking and relationship building. However, as tasks become more complex and interdependent, collaboration, teamwork, and relationship building will become more necessary. That, in turn, will require leaders to become more skilled in humble inquiry.”

Continue reading

Power Questions

power-questions

Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others

by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas

“You’ve heard about people who talk too much. You never heard about a person who listens too much.”

Power Questions is about the productive use of questions in a variety of contexts. Co-authors Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas are experts on client loyalty and fundraising, respectively. Continue reading