The Case for Curiosity
Posted on January 19, 2022 by Blake Leath
A client recently described how much she likes her boss. I asked, "Why? Why do you like her so much?"
"Because she seems genuinely interested in my life...in the experiences I'm having in my e v e r y d a y life."
It’s been my own experience that inquiry is intervention, so the moment her boss (or any of us, for that matter, regardless one's role) displays interest in another person's circumstance(s), 'possibility' doors fling wide open.
So you won't forget it, think of it like a horse's ears (vs. arse): Horses' eyes are on the sides of their heads, so the more reliable way (even from afar) to know what's captured their attention is to follow their ears. Their ears are their 'tell,' indicating the horse's state-of-mind or focus.
Human beings' bodies (regardless the diet one's chosen) are designed as omnivores, but we can still steal a page from the herbivores' playbook by showing genuine interest in others with our ears (and always in a non-threatening way, through curiosity).
Demonstrate empathy with others and curiosity about their lives by asking questions like “What’s on your mind today?” or “Anything memorable happen in your life since we last visited one-on-one?” Or ask them to “Teach or tell me something I do not know."
Most of us spring to life and get 'animated' by such expressions of interest, and the next thing we know, curiosity glides into connection, then self-awareness and mastery expand through ongoing dialogue. Beyond this, positive relationship and performance itself.
That's the very nature of appreciative inquiry: Engaging others in such a way that their locus of control expands and personal growth and professional development follow.