Nov 4, 2021 • 7M

Resource Review: Humble Inquiry

Humble Inquiry is both art and attitude and this book is a must-read

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Jeffrey Cufaude
Let me help you Facilitate Better. Each episode helps expand your competence and confidence to design and facilitate better meetings or workshops as we explore key facilitation principles, practices, tools, techniques, and resources.
Episode details

Reading time: approximately two minutes

“If you allow yourself to be really interested in what you don’t know about another person, to be open to your natural curiosity, what more could you learn?”

“Our failure to ask humbly and with the right attitude has created work climates in which people do not feel psychologically safe to share what they know.”

If either of these quotes resonate with you or pique your interest, you definitely would enjoy—and benefit from—reading Humble Inquiry by Edgar H. Schein and his son, Peter A. Schein. Now available in an expanded second edition, this is one of those books where my highlighter got quite a workout because it is filled with thoughtful provocations and practical advice, ones that can inform just about any relationship in which you participate.

In my 6-minute review, I highlight:

  • the case for humble inquiry and why the concept is both timeless and timely

  • why humble inquiry matters to facilitators and leaders

  • the contents and format of the book

  • humble inquiry as both art and attitude

The video format of this review contains slides illustrating these highlights that you may find more useful than the audio file only at the top of this post.

To further sample the content in the book download a PDF excerpt from Berrett-Koehler Publishers (my go to publisher for lamost all organizational development topics). In this 20-minute video, Edgar Schein explores Humble Inquiry and leadership. Finally, this brief Medium post offers a nice appetizer of the content. A quick online search will yield many more videos, reviews, and essays examining the content.

You’ll find reviews for all of the publications below at