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Showing posts with the label curiosity

Questions about Advice

Do you like to give advice? I don't know how many times people have asked me for advice and in return I just let them hear what I had to say about what I thought they wanted to know. That has two big problems:  Maybe I haven't really understood their issue, and Maybe they aren't really ready for advice until they've thought it through By asking questions, I can learn more about their situation to find out if I even have advice worth sharing on that situation. Sometimes, they have all they need to solve the problem by themselves. Also, by asking questions and letting them think through the situation in greater detail, they can tell that I'm not just going to pull out a stock answer -- and the answer will come from our dialogue together, not some ready-supply of world wisdom. I'm smart, but I can't solve everyone's problem. How about this -- do you like to get advice? Asking for advice (without paying for it) can be an imposition. It can also be rude. It c

Ask With Curiosity

How does it feel when someone asks you a question that doesn't really feel like a question? It feels instead like their mind is made up, or that they are trying to convince you of something. That's not much of a question, is it? Unless you ask a question with curiosity it isn't really a question. We all do it: ask questions we think we know the answer to. That perception acts like a little door that keeps out insights. It keeps out the ability to learn. Instead, we can't fake it: we must remain curious. When we are open to whatever answer another person offers us, and stay curious, we get better and more useful answers. When you ask a question with curiosity, it's a genuine question.  Ask real questions. -- doug smith Today's Leadership Affirmations  When I stay curious I learn much more I can be the best listener of the day for anyone who talks with me today My curiosity is intense, authentic, and powerful

The Trouble With Absolutes

We could argue absolute truth all day, all week, all year. Let's not. What if there is some element of doubt? What if there are undiscovered truths underneath the surface? We could take the time to experiment and learn along the way. We could conduct dialogues that explore rather than expose, that interrogate rather than interrupt. We could probe instead of poke.  The trouble with absolutes is that if you're wrong you are absolutely wrong. Let's stay curious instead. -- doug smith

The Yes Appeal

What's your best offer today? Has an opportunity come your way? Are you ready for something new? I have a natural tendency to defau lt to defensive posters when an offer comes my way. I'm too busy. I'm not interested. I 'm concer ned. Sometimes, a great offer gets lost in the attempt to avoid disaster. I'm practicing, though, a way thru that. I'm practicing the pause. During the pause, before I say know, I spark the inner curious mind to consider. What if this is great? What if this is fun? What if this makes at least two people happy? Before I say no, I think about my yes. What do you think? -- doug smith

Spare Those Feelings

Is hurting someone's feelings inevitable? Perhaps, sometimes, no matter what we as leaders do we will somehow hurt someone's feelings. But, if that happens as an accident or as the result of someone else's low self-esteem at least we didn't intend it. Most of us have known leaders who DO intend it. Leaders who play with people's feelings are playing with fire. It may feel like a fine way to manipulate someone into giving you something you want, but there is a heavy cost. The relationship takes some bumps and, often, the bounce-back reverberation (some might call it karma) is big. Very big. Being careful about other people's feelings is in the end also taking care of your own. Hurt feelings seek revenge. Why bring that about? We never escape unscaved when we hurt someone's feelings. What to do instead? Talk about it. Listen with curiosity. Show social courtesy and compassion. It's better for your relationships -- and therefore also better for

Stay Curious

Curiosity is more powerful than rhetoric, dogma, or unquestioned truth. It's in curiosity that we learn. And, it's in learning that we grow. Stay curious. -- doug smith

Stay Curious!

Disagreement is easy. Criticism is easy. Curiosity takes more initiative and courage and it brings about better understanding, openness and increases your chances of reaching agreement. Stay curious! How do you stay curious? Ask questions. Pause. Listen. Listen to understand, not to debate. Remember when you were ten years old and you were filled with questions? When was the last time that you were truly open to possibilities? When was the last time that you stayed curious when your inner judge wanted to evaluate? Stay curious! Imagine what you can learn, just by staying open. The possibilities are limitless -- as long as we don't limit them. Stay curious! -- Doug Smith

The Trouble With "Maybe"

What does maybe me to you? When I was a young dad, "maybe" probably meant "no" to me, but it meant a definite "yes" to my children. It's all in how you look at it and, of course, your agenda. When someone is working hard to convince us of something, they may hear a "yes" in our "maybe" that isn't there. This can build resistance that isn't necessary from our point of view and that gets in the way of genuine opportunities. We start defending our "no" when what we really meant was "we're not sure." What if instead of saying "maybe" we said "convince me?" What if we kept open and curious about the possibilities instead of going into a conversation with our minds made up? I think we'd open ourselves up to some greatly improved results and some beautiful surprises. Oh, yes, and then we'd be authentically communicating instead of just pretending to. What do you think?

Don't Judge That Creative Idea Too Soon

Are you a fan of your inner judge? We all have an inner judge (sometimes called inner critic) who wants to assess everything. To the inner judge, nothing is ever perfect. To the inner judge, there is always fault to find. How annoying. We grow up with this inner judge and let the judge drive us when we're not paying attention. When we lack focus on what is truly most important our inner judge tries to decide for us, and usually makes poor decisions. As Don Miguel Ruiz has said, "our inner judge lies." Judging a creative idea too soon is not fair to you or to the idea. You'll have time to judge. You'll have time to decide. But imagine how many more possibilities you'll have to work with if you first choose to stay curious. I promise to work on that every day from now on. How about you? -- Doug Smith

To Solve That Problem, Stay Curious

How curious are you? Problems bother us. They get in the way. They ruin our day. They create havoc where we'd rather have peace. Why do they do that? When we can stay curious about our problems it helps us to generate more meaningful, more powerful, and more sustainable solutions. Where did that problem come from? Why does it stick around? What benefits might it be generating to someone else? Is it really a problem or are we locked into a conflict or competition? Who else is feeling what we're feeling? Why? Why? Why? (useful to ask about a problem - but be careful when it comes to asking "why" about or from a person. That can trigger defensiveness in a hurry!) It's tough to solve a problem or resolve a conflict without big amounts of curiosity. Curiosity about causes. Curiosity about opportunities. Curiosity about solutions. Curiosity about possibilities. Once we begin to get more curious about possibilities, our possibilities increase.  And, when our