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Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help

Helping is a fundamental human relationship. From a mother feeding her infant to a friend or spouse helping to make something happen, to a group member playing his or her role to help the group to succeed, to a therapist helping a patient, to an organizational consultant or coach helping to improve individual, group or organizational functioning, helping is the basic relationship that moves things forward. Yet, paradoxically, we know relatively little about the social and psychological dynamics of that relationship. In this seminal book on the topic, corporate culture and organizational development guru Ed Schein analyzes the dynamics of helping relationships, explains why help is often not helpful, and shows what any would-be-helper must do to insure that help is actually provided. Many different words are used for helping assisting, aiding, advising, coaching, consulting, counseling, guiding, mentoring, supporting, teaching, and many more but they all have common dynamics and processes. Schein exposes and shows how to resolve the inequities and role ambiguities of helping relationships, describes the different roles that helpers can take once the relationship is balanced, and explains how to build a balanced relationship and how to intervene as that relationship develops, In this short but profound book Schein examines the social dynamics that are at play in helping relationships in order to better understand why offers of help are sometimes refused or resented, and how to make help more useful and effective.
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About the Author

Ed Schein was educated at the University of Chicago, Stanford University (where he received a master's degree in psychology in 1949), and Harvard University (where he received his Ph.D. in social psychology in 1952). He has taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management since 1956 and was named the Sloan Fellows Professor of Management in 1978. He is currently professor emeritus. He is the author of many articles and books, most recently Process Consultation Revisited (1999), The Corporate Culture Survival Guide (1999), and DEC Is Dead- Long Live DEC (2003). His book Organizational Culture and Leadership, 3rd ed. (2004) has defined the field of organizational culture. He has consulted with many organizations in the United States and overseas on organizational culture, organization development, process consultation, and career dynamics. What has distinguished Schein's work is his combination of sociology, anthropology, and social psychology, as illustrated in this book.


"An uncommonly wise book about a topic achingly overlooked and so indispensable for how we live our lives, professional or personal. I honestly cannot imagine any leader, teacher, consultant, therapist, anybody who wouldn't benefit from reading this masterpiece." --Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California, and coauthor of Judgment and Transparency "At once conceptually rigorous and eminently practical, Schein has given us a new classic--a highly readable, indispensable work that is bound to be read and reread, each time offering the reader new and profound insights into one of life's most important forms of social interaction." --Marc Gerstein, PhD, President, Organization Design Forum, and author of Flirting with Disaster: Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental "This little book is a treasure; I will not be able to offer help again without thinking about and using these simple but powerful tools of communication. Ed Schein's personal stories are heartfelt and ones to which we can all relate; his tips for giving and receiving truly desirable and effective help are clear gems of wisdom." --Tania Zouikin, former Chair and CEO, Batterymarch Financial

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