Humble Inquiry

Humble Inquiry

After writing discipline defining works in the area of organizational dynamic, culture, and social psychology and a 48 year career as an instructor at MIT, Edgar Schein has written a little book simply titled Humble Inquiry. He defines humble inquiry as, “the fine art...
Learning New Communication Skills

Learning New Communication Skills

If there is any endeavor that fits the needs of every human being (I know that’s a huge statement), it would be increasing our communication skills. Last Saturday, a group of ten learners dug in and challenged themselves to think about leadership and influence using a...
The Black Hole of Yesterday’s Problem

The Black Hole of Yesterday’s Problem

Recently, we illustrated the benefits of inquiry over advocacy and a solutions focus over problem analysis. Today let’s look briefly at the reason for a solution focus when dealing with issues that need to be addressed. When my boys made foolish decisions in their...
MAKE THE BIG SHIFT

MAKE THE BIG SHIFT

We have been talking about shifting from a ‘telling’ preoccupation in our communication to an ‘asking’ posture. Using inquiry rather than direct statements causes deeper thought and reflection in the other person. If we couple that shift with a renewed commitment to...
An Open Door

An Open Door

I love this quote from Nancy Willard, used by Michael Stainier, “Answers are closed rooms and questions are open doors that invite us in.” Words are important. Words shaped into questions are hugely important. Words that develop what is called ‘mindfulness’ are the...
The Physics of Ask/Tell

The Physics of Ask/Tell

In our last post, we used this illustration found in David Rock’s book, Quiet Leadership, to isolate the optimal approach to working with and even communicating with others. In simple terms, we should ask much more than tell, and focus on solutions rather than the...