IT’S ABOUT THEM
Sometimes people do things wrong. Or rather, they don’t do it the way you like it. They don’t think like you do. They don’t agree with you. And that can be annoying. Why can’t they just be more like you and do things your way, the correct way?
But they don’t, do they? No, they don’t follow your thinking, your perspective, or your approach, so they’re wrong and it’s their fault. It’s all about them, “They’re doing this; they’re doing that.”
I know all about this. You see I’ve made someone wrong for a long time. Let’s call him Bob. He’s so different to me, he does the strangest things, he says things I totally disagree with, he’s opinionated, he runs away from things, he’s in denial and his jokes are a stuck in the 1980s.
Making Bob wrong was great – it placed all the responsibility on him – he was the reason we weren’t connecting. His fault. And obviously I was right. (As I’m typing, I’m wondering what’s coming up for you – is there someone you might be making wrong now?)
THE WONDERS OF CURIOSITY
And then a few years back I discovered curiosity. Curiosity is a playful state, full of wonder – as in, “I wonder what I want, really?” or “I wonder what’s holding me back?” It brings me to a more expansive and creative space where I feel more content. Being curious eliminates the stifling quality of judgment and invites me to take more responsibility.
Curiosity is enormously powerful for me because it opens me up to be surprised and to find the unexpected truth. Curiosity asks me to explore what’s driving different human behaviours and to consider a common position underneath.
I now absolutely love curiosity. Indeed, as I write this I’m connecting with my curiosity and it’s so calming and grounding – it’s actually making me smile right now.
IT’S ABOUT US
When executive coaching, I help my clients get curious. Indeed, curiosity has helped me reframe how I look at many things – including my relationship with Bob. I’ve shifted from looking at him over there…to focusing on our relationship, on what’s between us. I’ve stopped making him wrong and now think we’re both bringing our different and valid truths to the conversation. We’re both sort of right.
It’s not about him having to change, but rather that we both have a collective responsibility. I might ask myself: “How do I want things to be between us?” or “What does our relationship want?” or “What’s next for us?”
Bob and I have a long way to go, but with curiosity I’m now in a more positive, open, can-do space to figure out our path forward.
When you find yourself making someone wrong, bring in your curiosity by asking yourself powerful questions that invite exploration, such as:
- What is going on?
- What is this about, really?
- What does our relationship want?
- What might be another perspective?
- How is my current attitude or behaviour serving me?
- How does it serve others?
- How might I better serve myself (and others) in these situations?
- What’s next for us?
I’m sure you’ll feel more content and empowered… from a place where you can better move forward.
STUCK AND LOOKING FOR SUPPORT?
If you’re stuck in your work or in your life and want to make things better for yourself or your teams I’d be delighted to support you with executive coaching or team coaching. We’ll uncover what’s underneath and get the answers you’re looking for.