Have you ever felt really stuck? Like some powerful force is stopping you from moving forward?
When we feel like this, it’s often because we have gotten close-minded about a person or a situation. And that is why curiosity is an integral part of our coaching process here at Real Change Business Coaching.
Curiosity is one of the positive emotions. The more positive we are, the more optimistic we will be about whatever it is we are facing. And that’s good for our mental health.
If we can get someone to think about a person, situation or struggle from a different perspective – if we can ask a question to make someone curious about something they don’t immediately know the answer to – eventually it can help that person move forward.
I’ve seen it hundreds of times in my coaching sessions at Real Change Business Coaching. After someone shares a story, observation or frustration – “I just don’t understand why so-and-so does _______!!” – often I’ll say, “I’m really curious about what you just said. Can you help me understand it better?”
Helping people move away from judgment and get curious about why they may be thinking a certain way, or what might be making so-and-so behave in a particular way, opens their mind.
After one or more business coaching sessions, the outcome is usually a lot of ah-ha moments such as, “Wow – I did not think about that!” and “Now I know what I need to do.”
This process is also the first step toward reducing stress, building better relationships and activating a more creative mindset.
Curiosity, Henry Ford and the V8 engine
Inventors are very curious people. Curiosity enables them to create what they create. Think about it: If you are trying to create a new product or service, the more curious you are, the more creative you will be.
At the Ford Motor Company, curiosity is what kept engineers going after Henry Ford challenged them to build a V8 engine with all eight cylinders cast in one block. Time after time, the engineers told Ford that it was impossible to cast an eight-cylinder gas engine block in one piece. And every time, Ford told them to keep going. “Produce it anyway,” he said.
Ford’s engineers had no choice but to keep being curious. Day after day, month after month, they were compelled to ask more questions: How can we think about this differently? How can we make it work?
Curiosity was the powerful force they applied to keep moving forward until one day in 1931 – they finally had a breakthrough.
Because of curiosity, what seemed impossible eventually became possible for these engineers. Their curiosity fueled their creative mindset until they saw a possibility they hadn’t seen before.
The lesson is clear:
The only way to get a breakthrough is by staying curious – no matter what gets in your way.
The moment you stop staying curious is the moment you get stuck. And if you remain in that place, it can shut you down.
One way to get out is through business coaching.
How to get unstuck
I love working with a coach. It helps me get things out of my head so I can play them back to myself and really hear what I’m saying.
A couple weeks ago, I felt really stuck. I was very close-minded. I could only see what I could see. Because I’d been triggered, my emotions had taken over. I had no energy. I was not feeling inspired to move forward.
To get unstuck, I had to talk to someone else about what I was going through. That person was my coach.
During our business coaching session, my coach validated how I felt – and by asking me the right questions so I could get curious, only then was I able to move through and make sense of what was happening.
But we also apply curiosity during:
- Our Leadership Assessments & Coaching, when we help leaders get curious about findings on their assessments’ debrief reports so they can begin moving toward their next best level of leadership
- Our Communication Styles Training, when we help individuals get curious about why their fellow business owners, partners or team members “do what they do” so everyone can stop making assumptions and have more productive conversations
- Our Meeting Facilitation & Engagement, when we inspire curiosity among meeting participants to get people talking and open up opportunities for deeper learning and understanding
- Our Ideal Culture Program, when we help employees get curious enough to see another person’s point of view and break down walls so everyone in the organization can thrive
One final word
Recently, a colleague asked me why I end every one of my Weekly Thought posts the same way – with the invitation to “stay curious” – and why I named this blog Curiosity.
My goal with this blog – and with my business coaching practice here at Real Change Business Coaching – is to spark curiosity in people every single day.
To get people thinking from a different perspective.
To help them become more open-minded.
I believe the more you can stay curious every day, the more information you will have to make better decisions so you can adopt new behaviors that lead to lasting change.
So stay curious!