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Staying Curious

Curiosity is vital for any coach. It helps us stay interested in our clients and their goals, in our work, and in life in general. How can we cultivate curiosity, and how can our clients and we benefit from it?

Athlete and coach Christopher Bergland notes that “Pushing your physical body is a great way to keep your mind and spirit open to a sense of wonder and curiosity.” Exercise, as well as creating the habit of discipline and commitment ― also essential qualities for success anywhere in life ― keeps us exploring, pushing, and testing what we can do physically. Do your clients exercise? What are their attitudes toward its benefits? The idea of physical activity as an incubator of curiosity and intellectual liveliness may be a new concept to them. Introduce them to it.

There are other ways to build what Steve Cox calls your curiosity quotient. Some of these include:

Read, read, read. Make notes on things of interest that you come across in news articles, on social media sites, in training courses―anywhere. Make an effort to read widely and deeply about things you are interested in.

Engage in opportunities to expand your knowledge base. The internet offers an endless variety of courses and training opportunities through sites like Learning Annex, Skillsoft and Better Explained, many of them free or very reasonably priced. There are also societies and associations dedicated to various interests and specialities. You may also find strong common interests with co-workers. Explore these avenues.

Get those around you to keep you focused and accountable. Report to these people on what you’re learning, and get them to recommend material, web sources, and interesting people. They can help keep you motivated and confident.

Keep examining your goals. As you learn more about yourself, your interests, and your abilities, you may develop different ideas about where you are going and how you want to get there. Pay attention to this, and be open to it.

Curiosity is there to help us discover our best and most authentic selves. Being mindful and attentive, asking questions about what we see and hear, challenging ourselves to do things differently―these are all keys to growth and contentment. Be interested; it makes you interesting. You should see this as essential to you as a coach, and as a person.