Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Being Genuinely Curious


Yesterday at the dinner table, my eleven-year-old daughter asked me, "Aren't there times when you absolutely know you're right and the other person is wrong?" She had a disagreement at school that day and believed that her view was the truth. I said, "I used to think I was always right and that other people were wrong. Now I still think I may be right, but I realize that other people know things that I don't. I'm more interested in learning than being right."

This month I want to describe how you can use curiosity - a key principle of The Skilled Facilitator and Facilitative Leader approach - to increase your effectiveness. My clients often tell me that learning to be curious has significantly improved their relationships with others and the results they get.

Curiosity is the desire to learn. When you're genuinely curious, you assume that other people may have information that you don't have. You also assume that others may see things that you may miss. As a result, you consider your point of view open to change.

When I first started practicing the Skilled Facilitator approach, I was not genuinely curious. If people disagreed with me, I was curious about their points of view, but only so that I could use what I learned to better advocate my own point of view. I still believed that I was right and they were wrong. My colleague Peg Carlson made this clear when she said, "Roger, having a disagreement with you is like a war of attrition. I know we'll end up doing what you want. It's just a matter of how long I want to hang in." I was just more sophisticated about hiding my belief, but it still guided my behavior. Does this describe you at times?

What I learned then is that it's not enough to ask others about their points of view. If you're not genuinely curious and if you're not interested in seeking valid information, you will use your pseudo-curiosity to control others. And they will figure this out, even if you know how to say the right words such as, "do you see it differently?" or "what problems do you see with my suggestion?" To help her make the transition, my colleague Sue McKinney took to asking herself this question: "What would I say if I were curious?" It's helped many of our clients build their curiosity.

When you're genuinely curious, your questions come easily and naturally. When someone gives you negative feedback about your performance, if you're genuinely curious, you can ask, "Can you give me some specific examples of times when I've done that? That would really help me understand better." And if, when you get the examples, you see it differently, then you say so and still remain curious, exploring how the two of you see your performance in different lights.

My clients often assume incorrectly that they have to be less vocal about their own point of view to be curious about others' views. Not so. As long as you're as curious about others views as you are passionate about your own, you will be able to use your curiosity to work effectively with others.

Sometimes the structures we work in make it more difficult for us to be curious. One of my favorite examples is a client that has a performance management system in which your boss has to approve your direct report's performance evaluation before you can discuss the evaluation with your direct report. This sets up a dynamic in which you can find yourself in a dilemma if you are genuinely curious about how your direct report sees your evaluation of him. If you're curious and find out that your direct report sees his performance more positively, and if you realize that you had missed some important information that would have led you to increase his rating, the system makes it difficult to change the rating that your boss has already approved. As a result, you are likely to control the performance evaluation with your direct report so that you don't learn anything that would lead you to change your mind. This is just one of many examples. As you look around your organization or the organizations you work with, look for other structures or procedures that inhibit curiosity.

Next month I'll talk about a related principle underlying our approach - saying what you're thinking, or transparency.

2005 Roger Schwarz

Roger Schwarz, Ph.D., is author of the international bestseller "The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers and Coaches" and co-author of the recent "Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook: Tips, Tools, and Tested Methods for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches," both available on Amazon.com and via other quality booksellers.

You can subscribe on our site to Fundamental Change, Roger Schwarz & Associates' free, monthly ezine: http://www.schwarzassociates.com/ezine_signup.html In exchange for subscribing, you'll receive a link to a free .pdf copy of "Holding Risky Conversations," a chapter from our recently-published fieldbook.

We write Fundamental Change to help you create workplaces and communities that are simultaneously highly effective and that improve the quality of life.

Every month we:

* Address issues important to you as practitioners and leaders
* Share client examples and case studies
* Offer tips and tools for challenging situations
* Offer resources to help you become more effective.


MORE RESOURCES:

Arizona Sports (registration) (blog)

Motivation Monday: What motivates Dave Burns - ArizonaSports.com
Arizona Sports (registration) (blog)
Motivation comes in many forms for many people, but everyone of us who gets out of bed and takes on the day does so with some goals in mind. On social media, those goals are collected in what is known as #MotivationMonday. Here's what motivates Dave ...

and more »


OregonLive.com

Memories of Ohio State loss fuel motivation for some on Ducks' defense ...
OregonLive.com
Memories of Ohio State loss fuel motivation for some on Ducks' defense. Playoff Championship Ohio St Oregon Football. Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott runs over Oregon defensive backs Chris Seisay (12) and Tyree Robinson for a nine-yard touchdown during ...

and more »


Motivation Matters: Do your employees share the company's vision? | New ...
The Union Leader
Dr. Paul P. Baard is an organizational psychologist, specializing in motivation, with Fordham University, a former senior line executive in the television industry, and the lead author of a book on leadership and motivation. He and his wife, Veronica ...



My Twin Tiers.com

7/27 Motivation Monday: Medicine Balls - WETM
My Twin Tiers.com
(18NEWS) -- Motivation Monday focuses on the benefits of using medicine balls in your fitness routine. Click here to watch more on medicine balls. Copyright 2015 mytwintiers.com Nexstar Broadcasting, All rights reserved. This material may not be ...

and more »


Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Grand Rapids man finds motivation in baby's ultrasound photo
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY JULY 27 AND THEREAFTER - In this photo taken July 2, 2015,photos of Marcus Fairfield and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Lauer, hang on a dresser door in Fairfield's hospital room at Mary Free Bed, in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Grand Rapids man finds motivation in baby's ultrasound photo - Elkhart TruthThe Elkhart Truth

all 6 news articles »


Cleveland Browns: Mike Pettine using fourth-place predictions as motivation ...
The Morning Journal
Cleveland Browns: Mike Pettine using fourth-place predictions as motivation. Michael Allen Blair/MBlair@News-Herald.com. Browns' quarterback Josh McCown throws a pass during Organized Team Activities June 2 in Berea. By Jeff Schudel, The Morning ...

and more »


WISH-TV

Motivation Monday: 3 tips for finding relief from migraines | WISH-TV
WISH-TV
On today's “Motivation Monday,” Tim Shurr, MA, shares three tips for finding relief from head pain. 1. Practice Stress-Reduction Techniques. High stress levels increase physical tension and evoke self-medicating activities such as smoking, drinking ...



Get More Inspiration and Motivation With This Compilation [Infographic ...
Business 2 Community
And now you are working on a project and just cannot get motivated to finish it. Maybe you'll just take the day off, and if the project is late, so be it. Really? You have no tools to get that motivation back, to get moving, to take some positive ...



The BoomBox

Young Jeezy's 'Thug Motivation 101' Album Is the Playbook for Go-getters Worldwide
The BoomBox
“I used to hit the kitchen lights, cockroaches everywhere / Hit the kitchen lights, now it's marble floors everywhere,” spits Jay Jenkins, better known to the world as Young Jeezy, on “Thug Motivation 101,” the opening salvo on the rapper's major label ...
Jeezy Taught Us: 10 Years of Thug Motivation 101 | News | BETBET
Jeezy Brings Out T.I., OutKast, Usher & More at 'Thug Motivation 101 ...Music Times
Jeezy Reunites Boyz N Da Hood At “Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101” 10th ...HipHopDX
Complex -Ambrosia For Heads -XXLMAG.COM
all 70 news articles »


Sport24

Burger: Captaincy gave me motivation | Sport24
Sport24
“It gave me extra motivation to perform on the field. “I'm delighted I was given this opportunity later in my career as my experience helped me deal with the leadership and pressure that comes with the role. “It was disappointing to end up on the ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.