I began thinking about curiosity when I recently read an article about public speaking. One of the top tips was: be curious about your audience. And it reminded me that, back when I was starting up my coaching practice, I would get anxious about potential new clients. After a phone conversation, I’d worry whether I’d get a new client, make the monthly bills, build a successful business. That’s a lot of burden for a single phone call.
So I decided to invoke my native curiosity. Curiosity drove my career as a journalist, and as an academic researcher. I remember when I interviewed at UT-Austin, one of the faculty asked me what one thing I’d like to share about myself. I replied immediately: “I’m curious.”
So when I decided (yes, it’s a conscious decision) to take a posture of curiosity toward building my coaching practice, life became lighter and more pleasant. And I was able to observe useful feedback about what made for a successful coaching relationship
Curiosity is gentle. It’s grounded over here, in me, and not demanding of the other. It’s about questions, not pronouncements. It lets things flow without feeling the need to control them. It acknowledges the need to listen and learn. It honors the world as a place of unexpected possibilities. It allows for accidents — lovely things I don’t control. (And wouldn’t want to.)
Life becomes more magical when it comes from a place of curiosity.