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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.
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.
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.
Consulting in Complex and Changing Times Organizations face challenges today that are too messy and complicated for consultants to simply play doctor: run a few tests, offer a neat diagnosis of the “problem,” and recommend a solution. Edgar Schein argues that consultants have to jettison the old idea of professional distance and work with their clients in a more personal way, emphasizing authentic openness, curiosity, and humility. Schein draws deeply on his own decades of experience, offering over two dozen case studies that illuminate each stage of this humble consulting process. Just as he did with Process Consultation nearly fifty years ago, Schein has once again revolutionized the field, enabling consultants to be more genuinely helpful and vastly more effective.
Helping is a fundamental human activity, but it can also be a frustrating one. All too often, to our bewilderment, our sincere offers of help are resented, resisted, or refused - and we often react the same way when people try to help us. Why is it so difficult to provide or accept help? How can we make the whole process easier? Many different words are used for helping: assisting, aiding, advising, care giving, coaching, consulting, counseling, guiding, mentoring, supporting, teaching, and many more. In this seminal book on the topic, corporate culture and organizational development guru Ed Schein analyzes the social and psychological dynamics common to all types of helping relationships, explains why help is often not helpful, and shows what any would-be helpers must do to ensure that their assistance is both welcomed and genuinely useful. The moment of asking for and offering help is a delicate and complex one, fraught with inequities and ambiguities. Schein helps us navigate that moment so we avoid potential pitfalls, mitigate power imbalances, and establish a solid foundation of trust. He identifies three roles a helper can play, explaining which one is nearly always the best starting point if we are to provide truly effective help. So that readers can determine exactly what kind of help is needed, he describes an inquiry process that puts the helper and the client on an equal footing, encouraging the client to open up and engage and giving the helper much better information to work with. And he shows how these techniques can be applied to teamwork and to organizational leadership. Illustrated with examples from many types of relationships - husbands and wives, doctors and patients, consultants and clients - Helping is a concise, definitive analysis of what it takes to establish successful, mutually satisfying helping relationships.
To get the best answer-in business, in life-you have to ask the best possible question. Innovation expert Warren Berger shows that ability is both an art and a science. It may be the most underappreciated tool at our disposal, one we learn to use well in infancy-and then abandon as we grow older. Critical to learning, innovation, success, even to happiness-yet often discouraged in our schools and workplaces-it can unlock new business opportunities and reinvent industries, spark creative insights at many levels, and provide a transformative new outlook on life. It is the ability to question-and to do so deeply, imaginatively, and “beautifully.” In this fascinating exploration of the surprising power of questioning, innovation expert Warren Berger reveals that powerhouse businesses like Google, Nike, and Netflix, as well as hot Silicon Valley startups like Pandora and Airbnb, are fueled by the ability to ask fundamental, game-changing questions. But Berger also shares human stories of people using questioning to solve everyday problems-from “How can I adapt my career in a time of constant change?” to “How can I step back from the daily rush and figure out what really makes me happy?” By showing how to approach questioning with an open, curious mind and a willingness to work through a series of “Why,” “What if,” and “How” queries, Berger offers an inspiring framework of how we can all arrive at better solutions, fresh possibilities, and greater success in business and life.
The Future of Leadership Leadership is a relationship—but that relationship must change, say legendary organizational scholar Edgar Schein and former Silicon Valley executive Peter Schein. The vertical hierarchy, with its emphasis on formal, transactional relationships, professional distance, and all guidance coming from the top, is hopelessly inflexible and outdated. In a complex world, leadership must rely on high levels of trust and openness throughout the organization, and that can be achieved only by what they call personization and Level 2 relationships, which build the agility to make course corrections quickly. This book shows how such humble leadership has built effective cultures in a whole range of sectors: health care, government, the military, tech and innovation, and more.

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