Asking Over Telling: Using Humble Inquiry to Build Great Teams
More asking, less telling. As an agile leader, adopt the approach of humble enquiry to build relationships, increase trust and collaboration, and deal with the challenges of organizational transformations.
"Humble enquiry is 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." - Edgar H. Schein
Working in an agile way asks us to rethink how we relate to each other as we tackle complex problems and challenge the traditional structures of our organizations. Humble enquiry - the art of asking instead of telling - is a critical skill for agilists who seek to improve collaboration and address difficult problems head on. Inspired by Edgar H. Schein's book 'Humble Enquiry, this workshop will teach you the fundamentals of how to do more asking and less telling. Through mini-lectures and interactive exercises, we'll discuss the different types of questioning, consider the forces around and within us that inhibit our ability to ask instead of tell, and examine how this powerful technique can improve collaboration within agile teams as well as help to address some of the challenges of agile transformations.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
This is a highly interactive workshop featuring a series of mini-lectures reinforced by practical exercises for skill development.
- What is humble inquiry?
- Active listening
- Exploring humility
- Asking open questions
- Cultural and internal barriers to practicing humble inquiry
- Improve your leadership skills by learning the basics of humble enquiry
- Recognize the constraints (cultural and psychological) that make it difficult to ask instead of tell
- Activities that you can use yourself and with their teams/organizations to practice this skill.
anyone in a leadership role
Prerequisites for Attendees
A curiosity about leadership and willingness to learn more.
This talk has been previously presented at Lean Agile Scotland 2016 and Agile 2017.