A frequent area of exploration with my coaching clients is also one of my favorites:
How can you get curious?
So often we fall into belief patterns and assumptions about what others are thinking, or why they’re acting in a certain way.
More often than not, our assumptions are off-base.
There’s more at play.
To understand, we just need to get curious.
I appreciate the four phrases in the article above for building a culture–and personal practice–of curiosity.
- Get curious about what you don’t know, which starts by showing intellectual humility by saying “I don’t know.”
- Get curious about others and situations by responding to what they share with “Tell me more.” (It’s the best non-question question there is!)
- Get curious about your employees by getting to know them as whole people so you can provide better support.
- Get curious about ideas and solutions by asking “Who else?” when looking for additional insight.
And I’ll add one more.
I’ll add get curious about intent by asking “Help me understand…”
When I’m working with a coaching client who is feeling reactive to someone’s action or behavior, they usually acknowledge they’re making assumptions about intent.
“How do you know for sure that was their thinking or intent?”
That gives us the space to explore how they can get curious instead.
And when they do, nearly every time the intent wasn’t what they thought.
Bonus? They learn more about and develop a better relationship with the other person.
So let’s make this five phrases:
“I don’t know.”
“Tell me more”
“I understand that you’re more than your job.”
“Help me understand…”
Which one of these do you want to try today?
Hey there, I’m Cynthia. I’m a leadership team whisperer, executive coach, and speaker. I guide leadership teams in high-growth companies to achieve rapid growth in a healthy, sustainable way. I coach senior leaders to discover the path to lead with ease.