Curiosity: A Skill for a Lifetime of Learning
I recently reached out to Team Maslow for some insights on the topic of curiosity – it’s something that is at the heart of coaching, and it seems that curiosity has been the gift of a lifetime for Maslow Coaches, and I can gather, for leaders around the globe. At Maslow Centre, we equip people with the skills to become effective coach leaders.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) has 8 Core Competencies, and although curiosity can be woven into each of the Competencies, Core Competency 4: Cultivates Trust and Safety is one to zone in on in this article.
ICF Core Competency 4. Cultivates Trust and Safety
Definition: Partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share freely. Maintains a relationship of mutual respect and trust.
- Seeks to understand the client within their context which may include their identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs
- Demonstrates respect for the client’s identity, perceptions, style and language and adapts one’s coaching to the client
- Acknowledges and respects the client’s unique talents, insights and work in the coaching process
- Shows support, empathy and concern for the client
- Acknowledges and supports the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns, beliefs and suggestions
- Demonstrates openness and transparency as a way to display vulnerability and build trust with the client
Why is Curiosity Important?
Curiosity is one of the most powerful ways to engage others at a deeper level. Non-judgmental curiosity is an act of love and connection, and it helps us to let go of the notion that we need to know it all or be ‘right’ in our interactions.
In the post-covid era, which is where we are heading, practicing curiosity every day can help us inspire innovation, creativity, and expansiveness, which is something that every organization at every level is needing, and can greatly benefit from. As a coach leader, it’s so important to be curious about your team, finding out what drives them and what energizes them – to help combat disengagement and burnout; something we are all feeling after more than a year of a global pandemic.
The Impact and Benefits of Curiosity in Leadership
When we lead with curiosity, it helps us build better rapport, increases trust and it’s the most powerful skill that can facilitate a conversation that’s meaningful and powerful for our clients/direct reports, etc. By using curiosity to learn more, it helps our coachee’s identify what is working, what is not working, and what is getting in the way. It can help them come at a problem from a different angle, and most powerfully, it can unlock a stickiness– bringing people to change the narratives about what is true and possible for them.
How Can I Cultivate My Own Curiosity?
Cultivating your own curiosity begins when we are open to new experiences and can be augmented by great questions. Curiosity is essential for progress- for ourselves, our clients, our friends, our leaders and to make the world a better place – it is essential for humanizing our world.
When we become curious about our own intuition, our thoughts, our feelings, our reactions to certain situations, it creates awareness to help us tune inward: Is this who I want to be? How do I want to show up? And these are all great questions that a year plus in quarantine has taught us to give space and attention to.
Curious About Maslow Centre?
At Maslow Centre for Executive Leadership, we are working to humanize leadership and workplaces.
We offer International Coaching Federation (ICF) accredited coach training programs as well as consulting and coaching for large-scale programs. We help organizations use coaching as a leadership strategy and build a culture of coaching. We exclusively focus on organizational coaching (executive coaching, culture coaching, leadership coaching). We coach and teach coaching with a focus on understanding human dynamics as it pertains to strategy, culture, leadership, performance and transformation in an organization.