‘’Why’’ is my 4 year old son’s favorite word. This ‘’why’’ embodies the concept of curiosity. It doesn’t arbor the fear of not knowing, it is not judging, and it does not expect a specific answer (unless of course that same question has been asked 5 times already).
Curiosity goes hand in hand with leadership because it is crucial to making progress and creating something new both in our work and personal lives. Curiosity has been shown to be key to better communication, because it supports understanding, and to reducing error as it makes us less likely to be the victim of confirmation bias. Being curious can help us understand different perspectives and their resulting behaviours.
An unforgettable line in the movie Avatar was “I see you”. This meant “I see all of you – I understand you”. To become masterful at curiosity is to be able to truly see and understand others. When we take the time to truly understand others we are able to create bridges and connect.
A space where we can truly be seen, without judgement, and where questions are purely curious, meant to learn and understand, is the coaching space. As leaders we can model curiosity by staying open, listening to others and withholding judgement. We can create micro coaching spaces every time we have an interaction both at work and at home. This will allow us to build bridges, make a difference and perhaps have some childish, pure, lighthearted fun.