“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” St Augustine
Not me. I’m curious. I am always wondering about me, and about you. I wonder about the way we think, feel and behave. About why we get so sick and continue do the same things that made us sick in the first place. Or the way we can transform our lives by a decision made in a heartbeat…. or one made over a life time. I’m always wondering about the synchronicities of life, how things can suddenly ‘fall into place’ and how the tough challenges can in hindsight can feel like gifts. I’m curious about the goals we set ourselves — the reachable goals, the unreachable goals, and the goals that become journeys of discovery far richer than the initial goal itself.
I’m a truth seeker, for myself and for others, and therefore I am always curious.
Except when I’m not 😉 But that’s another story…….
Let’s stay with the curiosity for now. It’s important as this is what drives my work as a coach and facilitator, and my life in general. And it’s my curiosity that makes me good at what I do. This is useful information because I know when I’m not being curious I’m likely to be not doing good work.
Let me explain a little more.
Staying curious with heart allows for so many things as a coach.
From this place I can be full on challenging.
One client, with a smile on his face, described me as ‘sneaky’ in the way I challenged, provoked and landed things for him in our sessions. It really worked, he shared, but he didn’t experience it as a tough time. Stretching but not painful. I think he was just experiencing my curiosity with heart which can be hugely challenging via the questions and insights that I share from that place. I’ll be honest it can feel painful sometimes. But it’s not my job to make you feel comfortable. My job is to enable you to create the change you want in your life, your work, your leadership — the reasons you asked to work with me in the first place.
My curiosity can oftentimes be playful.
This allows me to go deep with lightness. Being light when working in the shadows and the tough stuff can cut through and shift things quickly when used wisely. I’ll be honest my humour is a little quirky sometimes. But fun is one of my core values and when we’re doing difficult work, humour makes sure we don’t get so serious that we get stuck. I’ve been told this is my superpower as a coach. I’ll take that.
My curiosity also creates space. Space for me, but mostly for you.
Sometimes I won’t know, and sometimes you won’t know and sometimes neither of us will know. When we stay curious we can be in the silence of not knowing. And this is powerful in many ways. Space creates time to think (Check out Nancy Kline’s ‘Time to Think’) and this is where insights, learnings, solutions, creative ideas can appear from ‘nowhere’. What is in fact happening is the space is allowing you and your subconscious to work more effectively, more deeply.
This space can literally allow for ‘rewiring’. As you/we stay in the unknowing you’re thinking, reflecting, processing, and this creates new neural pathways. New neural pathways means new behavior and therefore change which is why you come to coaching in the first place right?
Lastly, for now, curiosity enables me to stay fully present. Or perhaps it’s that I need to be fully present to stay curious.
Either way this is a match made in coaching heaven as it’s my role as a coach to be with you every step of the way — listening, noticing, questioning. Being present and curious to what is unfolding in our work together. My antennae are always up, listening out for everything you say and don’t say, or the things you’ve said that you didn’t even know you said. Noticing what I see in you, and what I feel in me as I listen to you. These are all potentially pieces of gold to play back to you, inform you, shape your solutions, sharpen your insights, to create that change you want to make.
So by all means journey and wonder at the heights of those mountains, and huge waves. I’ve done a significant amount of journeying in the past year myself, traveling to 10 countries. And as I look back I know for myself that the biggest adventure is the one I had with myself while I went on that physical journey. It’s always that way, whatever I’m doing.
Whatever path you are on right now, be it as leader of a team, a business, a vision, a relationship, a desire, if you’re wanting that journey to be different in some way, its starts with you getting curious. And my experience is you can do that faster, deeper, more effectively with a coach. We all need and expedition guide sometimes to navigate that journey within.
I’ll leave you with Albert Einstein:
‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
If you would like to work with a coach that will be curious with heart on your behalf, or have any questions about coaching please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also keep informed of workshops, future blogs and free stuff on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin.
(No Cats were killed in the making of this blog)