In the coaching profession, being able to develop the skill of curiosity is essential to be an effective coach.
Curiosity is a valuable skill to develop as a leader. It shows a willingness to learn more about those we work or engage with.
What is Curiosity and Why Develop it?
We define curiosity as the “desire to know or learn.” When we’re curious, we’re in a state of being in the unknown and ready to learn something new.
There is a fine balance between being curious and being nosey. When someone is being nosey, they want to know something for their benefit, without considering how to serve another person.
When someone is being curious, they want to better understand a person or situation for the purpose of helping them reach an outcome they want.
If we develop the skill of curiosity, benefits will include:
- Expanding our perception or point of view.
- Greater levels of empathy with others.
- Deeper connection with others.
- Better problem-solving ability.
- More personal growth and self-confidence.
As we develop the skill of curiosity, our ability to communicate effectively will improve. This will allow us to support others in achieving what they want, while we achieve what we want.
5 Things You Can Do to Develop the Skill of Curiosity
Developing any skill will require patience, commitment and lots of practice. Here are five things you can do to develop the skill of curiosity.
- Learn to ask better questions. The skill of curiosity and questioning techniques go together. A key area of focus includes knowing what to ask and when. Being comfortable with silence while allowing a person to respond to a question is also important.A resource that will help develop questioning techniques is my book, Transition from Manager to Coach, which you can download for free here.
- Allow yourself to be in the unknown. Our perceptions, opinions or beliefs are not always accurate. We have to learn not to jump to conclusions if someone isn’t doing what we expect them to. By being willing to be in the unknown, we’ll be able to see things from other people’s point of view. As we ask questions, we’ll offer them a learning opportunity as they think through their responses.
- Be willing to change or challenge your perspective. We have to be comfortable asking ourselves tough questions. Questions such as, “Why do I believe that?” or “Why do I think my way or opinion is right?” will make us think differently.
- Challenge the status quo. To develop the skill of curiosity, we have to question why things are the way they are. It’s also valuable to question why a person may do something a certain way. Influencing others and painting a picture of a new possibility are outcomes of developing curiosity.
- Fall in love with learning. As we learn more, we’ll be able to find connections between situations to things we know. Being more curious through learning will expand our vocabulary and our ability to ask intelligent questions. We can learn from books, courses, podcasts, seminars and training programs.
Things You Can Expect as You Develop the Skill of Curiosity
When we develop the skill of curiosity, things we can expect to experience include:
- People will be more willing to share what’s going on for them.
- We’ll expand our creativity.
- Others asking us for our opinion on things.
- Become a better leader.
- Starting more collaboration with others.
As we develop the skill of curiosity, we should always be mindful of the context we find ourselves in. We must always have the right intention, which is to learn, understand or support others.
If we have the right intention, we’ll make a bigger impact or difference in the lives of others. This will allow us to support others in reaching their outcomes and feel better about ourselves.
Action Step: Choose one resource that will help you develop your ability to ask better questions. A resource that will help you learn to ask better questions is my book, Transition from Manager to Coach. You can download a free copy here.
Question: What are other things that can be done to develop the skill of curiosity?