Home > Education> Workshops> Basic Techniques for Humble Inquiry Questioning

Basic Techniques for Humble Inquiry Questioning (1 Day Class)

Formerly known as Coaching Lean Problem Solving Thinking. We regularly PDCA our workshops and make improvements which may necessitate a title change. If you have previously taken Coaching Lean Problem Solving Thinking, we do not recommend that you take this course. 

Lean leaders and change agents generally have to implement improvements through people they don’t manage. They have the responsibility, but little or no authority to accomplish their goals. Getting people to complete the tasks they assign or meet the schedules they set requires constant attention, encouragement, cajoling, and often taking the lead on the activities themselves.

There is a better way. Switch from trying to be the person out front leading the charge to being someone who utilizes his or her knowledge and experience to coach employees when needed. In other words, try the sensei or Socratic approach to coaching and leading to develop the capability of employees to be self-sufficient problem solvers. 

The purpose of this one-day workshop is to help lean leaders and change agents understand the importance of the role of the developmental coach in improving value-stream performance and develop the basic skills and perspectives to function effectively in that role. 

Specifically, the program will introduce the questions technique of Humble Inquiry that can be used to lead others through problem solving and implementing lean improvements - without taking over the problem solving thinking.

Workshop Activities:  Participants will be facilitated as they:

  • Look at the common image of the coach and examine the realities of the role.
  • Describe the work of a lean developmental coach and how to tell if it is effective.
  • Consider the special requirements and challenges of coaching those responsible for lean problem solving and continuous process improvement.
  • Recognize the role of lean problem solving thinking in lean implementation.
  • Examine the developmental approach to coaching and recognize it is not necessary to be a lean expert to coach other problem solving thinkers.
  • Practice the skills of open-ended questioning, attentive listening, recognizing sound PDCA problem solving thinking and put the skills together to practice Humble Inquiry questioning.
  • Explore and practice the key activities in the process of Coaching for Development:

          - Giving lean implementers a task or project as their own responsibility

          - Prompting awareness as others investigate, think and experiment on their own

          - Helping others see results versus processes and compare plan versus actual

          - Forcing reflection and learning from it


Through instruction, discussions, group activities, and hands-on exercises, participants will:

  • Recognize the assumptions behind the traditional function of a coach and the limitations of coaching for correction
  • Understand the developmental approach to coaching and recognize how its perspective and techniques contribute to implementing and sustaining lean through problem solving.
  • Increase their skills for asking open questions and listening attentively to facilitate, prompt, and develop the problem solving thinking and decision-making of others.
  • Practice using attentive listening and open questioning to recognize where coachees are in their problem solving thinking and assess their effectiveness through comparison with the flow of PDCA problem solving.
  • Put the above skills and techniques together to practice Humble Inquiry questioning to coach and develop someone's problem solving thinking.
  • Assess their own effectiveness as lean problem solving coaches and set goals developing your skills.  

Workshop Suggestion:
To maximize your learning experience we recommend that prior to attending this program you take following workshop or have a good understanding of the concepts presented within it.
Locations and Dates for Basic Techniques for Humble Inquiry Questioning

No offerings of this workshop are scheduled at this time. Please check back again soon.

Price: $800.00 ($700.00 if the participant is taking 2 or more workshops at one location)
Price includes all participant materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks each day

Sign up to be notified when this workshop is available in your area

Bring this workshop to your company with On-Site Training Learn more »

Cancelation Policy
Our workshops are designed to cater to a limited number of participants.  If you must cancel a workshop registration, you will be given a full refund up to four weeks before the workshop.  A cancelation occuring within four weeks of the workshop will be subjected to a $350 cancelation fee.  LEI will not be held personally responsible for any incidental cost incurred (hotel, airfare, change fee, etc).  To cancel a workshop registration, please call LEI at (617) 871-2900.