Be Curious - blog article by Bev Bourque

Be Curious

In the last blog, listening was described as a foundational coaching skill.  Listening is definitely a critical component of any coaching conversation and must be present for any of the other skills to have an impact.  Another coaching skill that I would put at the top of my list is curiosity.  I view curiosity as both a perspective and a skill that is necessary for the coaching conversation to be worthwhile.

Quote about curiosity by Walt Disney

I would describe curiosity as a perspective in that a curious mindset is what a coach must step into before coaching.  What does a “curious mindset” look like?  It’s being open and sincerely interested in what the client has to say.  Curiosity means no judgement.  The Coach must focus on not allowing judgement to come into play and just be curious.  The moment the Coach starts to feel any judgement, the coaching should stop and only resume once it is no longer present.  An example of where judgement can be present is when a Coach is coaching a friend and finds it difficult to remain impartial.  You know the person so well that thoughts of what you want for the person, or what is best for them, start to enter and get in the way of coaching.

In order to maintain a curious mindset in coaching, the skill of being curious must be practiced. Curiosity as a skill means having an open mind and asking questions; lots of questions.  These are not “yes” or “no” type questions but open-ended questions that dig deeper into what is going on with the client.  Being curious will allow the client to open up new possibilities that they may not have seen before the questions were asked.

So how do you practice being curious?  Try the “minimum 5 question rule” when you are talking to someone and want to learn more about what they are sharing with you.  Remember, these have to be open-ended questions.  It will amaze you how much more a person will open up when you do this — because they will know that you are both interested in what is going on in their world and care enough about them to take the time to ask.

So how do you practice being curious?  Try the “minimum 5 question rule” when you are talking to someone and want to learn more about what they are sharing with you.  Remember, these have to be open-ended questions.  It will amaze you how much more a person will open up when you do this — because they will know that you are both interested in what is going on in their world and care enough about them to take the time to ask.

If curiosity is a skill that you would like to strengthen, I encourage you to try this rule over the next while. If you are an over-achiever, you could even strive for asking more questions, like in this classic Uncle Buck movie clip. If you have any other tips or thoughts that you would like to share about this topic, please participate in the comments section below.

All the Best,
Bev

Bev Bourque, MIR, BComm., CPCC, ACC
Professional Coach & HR Consultant, Vigour Coaching
c: 587.646.3799 I e: bev@vigourcoaching.ca

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