Summary of Humble Inquiry

The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Berrett-Koehler, more...

Buy the book

Humble Inquiry book summary
Build stronger relationships by showing humility and “asking” instead of “telling.”

Rating

8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style

Recommendation

Retired MIT professor Edgar H. Schein makes a solid case for humility. He explores the way American culture prioritizes action, practicality and competition over courteousness and respect. Schein encourages openness and curiosity about others in the form of “Humble Inquiry” – “the fine art of drawing someone out, of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer, of building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person.” To counter a working environment often short of manners and civility, getAbstract recommends this slim but powerful book to executives, managers, leaders and anyone who wants to know how to ask a polite question and who really wants to know the answer.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How using “Humble Inquiry” can help build relationships
  • How this differs from other forms of questioning
  • How to develop “Asking” skills
 

Summary

“Humble Inquiry”
American culture encourages “Telling” instead of “Asking.” But telling hinders relationships, because when you tell people what to do, you assume they’re incompetent or lack information and that you’re the expert. “Asking” fosters better relationships. When you ask people...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

Professor Edgar H. Schein retired from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the author of several books, including Helping and The Corporate Culture Survival Guide.


Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category