What is deep curiosity and what can we gain from it?
These are the types of curiosity I will discuss:
• About the person who is sharing
• About what a person is sharing
• About a situation beyond our assumptions
• About you and the tremendous effects of the 360 assessments
Let’s begin by discussing curiosity and learning within a conversation. When another person is taking the time and energy to share their thoughts with us, the most loving things we can do are to deeply listen with an abundance of curiosity, listen with an open mind and an open heart, and notice their body language – are they tense or excited? More often than not, body signals will give you more information than words. Next, listen with a level of deep curiosity. Tune out everything except what they are saying and allow yourself to fully take it in. If a response comes to mind, set it aside and continue to simply absorb all the nuances of their speech and tone. Hold a childlike fascination for what they are sharing and why. Oftentimes, being heard this deeply calms a person’s nerves or anxiety and can help them externally process an idea. You don’t have to add to what they are saying right away, instead give them the space to expand their thoughts and work out new innovations.
This type of listening allows you to learn more about the subject, the speaker, and what is important to them. You will learn more about their values, even if it is simply a story about putting gas in their car. Listen for what moves them and makes their heart beat. This creates deeper intimacy and authenticity in friendships and coworkers. Trust will grow organically when they feel they are truly being heard, seen, and their story is important to you. The greatest gift to give is completely showing up in a conversation.
Often when we are engaged in conversation, or simply observing, our minds run faster than our ears can listen – this is called “listening in order to respond.” This type of listening can be useful in a brainstorming session but is ineffective when needing to absorb what someone is sharing. Next time you notice you are eagerly waiting to respond, take a deep breath, focus on their face or voice, and allow yourself to notice what they are experiencing as they are talking. When they are finished, your response may still be on the tip of your tongue, but I bet it has changed because you have gained more information by simply listening with deep curiosity.
Now we’ll discuss how curiosity in a situation can enhance your experience. When in a group of people, a meeting, or a dinner party, take a moment and allow your gaze to soften and your other senses to take over. What do you smell? What do you sense in their mood? What do you hear? Allow more of that childlike fascination to surface and you will be amazed at what you hadn’t noticed before. This is a very good thing to challenge yourself with when you’re in a situation where you are making assumptions about others or topics. Don’t assume you know what they mean, ask open-ended questions with an open heart to hear what they want to share. This is especially helpful in today’s political climate, where many have some hot buttons. When you are wanting to learn where someone stands in a situation, make sure your questions encourage them to truly open up and allow them to see that your heart and mind are open, and you are genuinely curious about them.
The last thing I want to discuss is the most important type of curiosity – deep curiosity about yourself. Have you ever wondered: Why you have certain beliefs? Why does a certain smell make you feel happy or relaxed? Why do you process information the way you do? Why do you get emotional? Why do you love the way you do? Why do you hurt the way you do? These questions can always be answered by pointing outwards and assuming based on outside influences. I challenge you to look inwards and seek what really makes you tick. A powerful tool I’ve often used is a 360 assessment. These assessments help you examine the effect you have on others, the effect you have on yourself, and any possible disconnects between the two. You can then begin moving in a direction towards powerful leadership and internal fulfillment. My training with the Leadership Circle Profile™ has allowed me to work with individuals in a powerful and fully transformative way, that allows you and the company you work for to benefit from deep curiosity. The more you dig into what makes you unique, the more you can thrive in this amazing world.
Deep curiosity and exploration take time and courage, and can be accomplished with a trained coach who can guide you into learning more about yourself. How would this benefit your life? Knowing more about yourself enables you to hold a strong confidence and allows others to know the real you.
If you find this interesting and think you might benefit from guidance and coaching around self-curiosity, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome the conversation.
With deep appreciation and curiosity,
Renee Nash, CPCC, ACC is an Executive and Leadership Coach that comes from deep in the trenches. She spent 25 years in dysfunctional, corporate positions, then went on to thrive in an Executive Coaching company for 10 years as Director of Operations. Now certified and trained through Co-Active Training Institute, International Coach Federation, Leadership Circle Profile, Dr. Bréne Brown – Dare to Lead and Positive Intelligence, she coaches individuals with courage and compassion. She understands self-induced obstacles, challenging cultures, toxic management styles, and sabotaging behaviors. She longs to help others live as their true beautiful selves.
You can connect with Renee through her website at: www.kralliancecoaching.com. She is currently accepting clients.