Humble Consulting is the ability to support a client efficient and effectively via openness and curiosity. The concept has been developed by Dr. Edgar Schein and was presented in his books (“Helping: How to offer, give and receive help” (2009), “Humble Inquiry” (2013)).
It’s the art of using one’s own ignorance about the problem domain and follow one’s curiosity. The challenge is to ask questions one does not already (think to) know the answer to, in order to gather new insight. Assumptions and pre-hoc knowledge the consultant may possess are put aside. The client is encouraged via openness and simple questions to view the problem domain from a new perspective and to find a proper solution by him/her/itself.
Consultant and client develop an understanding of the problem and the solution together. The necessary trust is established through open conversation and Personization. The Humble Consultant establishes personal trust and reduces professional distance, which thwarts inevitable change in today’s VUCA world.
Such interdependencies in a connected world need openness, curiosity and trust, so to be able to talk freely about problems and to establish solutions over competence and hierarchy levels.