Leaders are Readers Fall Meeting "Humble Inquiry" | October 4, 2018

Pillar: COLLABORATIVE

This event was for members of the Leadership Academy who had signed up to be part of the Leaders are Readers Fall Book Club meeting. For fall term, we read "Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling" by Edgar H. Schein.

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 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.