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How to Develop Feelings of Curiosity

In order to develop a quality or skill it must be distilled to behaviors.

I was fascinated when a client pushed me beyond behaviors by saying, “Curiosity is an emotion.”  This post is the result of her statement.

3 benefits of curiosity:

  1. Solutions begin with curiosity.
  2. Curiosity makes you interesting. The most boring people aren’t curious.
  3. The future is built by the curious.

People who make statements without asking questions are arrogant, boring, and eventually irrelevant.

Too much curiosity:

Inquisition. Guard against putting people on the hot seat with too many questions.

Scepticism. One sided conversations make others feel sceptical of your motivations.  

Control. Questions can be controlling. Leading questions make people feel manipulated, for example.

Feelings of curiosity:

  1. Calmness. The number one emotion of curiosity is calm. Hot emotion reveals an agenda driven conversation. The hotter you are the more you’re advocating or defending a position.
  2. Compassion. Giving space to curiosity feels like compassion for another. It says they matter.
  3. Patience. Curiosity takes time. People don’t always know what they think, especially when questions are probing.
  4. Tolerance. Uncertainty is tolerable for short-periods of time. Curious leaders refuse to latch on to first answers.
  5. Confidence. It takes courage to “not know” and give yourself space for the light to come on.
  6. Trust. Curiosity trusts itself. You may not know where the journey ends, but it’s worth the effort.

Curiosity as skill:

The skill of curiosity is asking questions and attending to answers.

The best questions:

  1. Inspire.
  2. Enlighten.
  3. Challenge.
  4. Press into the future.

A question you can’t answer is a thing of beauty.

3 tips for effective curiosity:

  1. Declaration. Declare intentions and motivations.
  2. Revelation. Reveal some of yourself. Maintain the equilibrium of power.
  3. Delay. Don’t make up your mind quickly. Pretend you don’t know.


I’m delighted to partner with Clarity Development Consulting to offer the proven “Coaching for Engagement” program. Drop me an email if you’d like to explore having Bob Hancox and me come to your organization to develop the coaching skills of your team.

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