How curious are you? What level of comfort do you have with gut feelings? Imagine the coaching adventures that might open up for you and your clients by embracing and strengthening the skills of curiosity and intuition.
These essential coaching skills are the building blocks to dynamic client/coach partnerships. They provide the potential to tap into amazing transformational growth. When embraced, these skills free coaches of the often-burdensome role of expert and invite the client to learn, create and grow through exploration and discovery. Applying these skills will reveal what’s hidden, tap potential, and can be just plain fun.
What do curiosity and intuition look like?
In the coaching context curiosity is an eager desire to learn by calling the clients attention to what might be. It is inquisitiveness. Intuition is an immediate knowing without the connection to reason or logic. It is a hunch, a quick insight, a gut feeling.
Curiosity and intuition encourage a relational position of openness and exploration. It believes there is something worth discovering in the client and worth helping them discover.
What might be the obstacle to embracing these skills?
Surprisingly, the skills of curiosity and intuition may not be as eagerly embraced as other coaching skills.
To be honest, in life, curiosity and intuition haven’t always been viewed in a positive light. You might remember the childhood proverb, “curiosity killed the cat” warning about the pitfalls of over investigation.
Also consider, throughout life, we are trained to ask specific questions that will lead us to collect specific answers.
Add to this the reality that for some, these skills come more naturally than for others. Some of us are born with an innately curios nature and a driving desire to test the hunch we often have, while others are more comfortable with the obvious and observable. Be encouraged, if you are passionate about growing as a coach, these skills can be mastered and applied with powerful results.
For myself, as a Christian coach, experiencing intuition in the coaching process is being alert and listening to what the Holy Spirit is revealing and being courageous enough to follow the lead.
It brings freedom for me to be willing to let go of what I think I know in order to join the Holy Spirit and client on a journey of exploration.
Curiosity and intuition are coaching skills that in some respects come naturally to me, but in the coaching process, I have had to intentionally develop these skills. Having twenty years experience as a licensed professional counselor, my training was in asking information-gathering questions for diagnosis and treatment development. I quickly discerned the freedom and power in embracing the idea of not knowing and trusting in the One who does.
What is the impact of the curious question?
These powerful coaching skills are anchored to open-ended questions that are inquisitive and invite wonder. They provide the client opportunity to test beliefs, examine truth, and define values.
In her book, Jesus Life Coach, Laurie Beth Jones states, “In our rush to seek certainty we shut out wonder. In our desire to know, we fail to understand what can come only from exploring open-ended questions, getting caught in the tumble and whirl of them, and eventually finding our way out.”
How did Jesus use questions?
Jesus often asked powerful questions that invited his followers to test their beliefs and search for meaning and truth. Shortly before His triumphal entry, he was gathered with his disciples and asked, “Who do the people say that the Son of Man is?” This question elicited discussion and exploration of common views and possibilities.
But the next question, “Who do you say I am?” was a marvelous question that allowed his disciples the opportunity to explore what drove them to be his followers, what they truly believed about him and what they were willing to sacrifice. This one question established the mission and purpose for Peter’s life as he dug deep and answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Often in coaching there is revelation of a new thought, motive, pattern, or possibility when intuition and curiosity are applied. So how are these skills strengthened and embraced in the coaching process?
Tips for Strengthening Curiosity and Intuition
Tip 1: Begin with coaching yourself by asking curious questions such as…
- What is God doing in this client’s life?
- What truth does He want to reveal?
- How does He want to advance their life for kingdom purpose?
Tip 2: Be present and real in the relationship. This requires being truly interested in the client and their heart.
Tip 3: Be bold enough to follow your intuition. Develop a pattern of listening to what the Holy Spirit may be revealing to and through your client. Pursue with boldness and expectation the truth that may bring freedom.
Tip 4: Practice, practice, practice asking curious questions like…
- What do you want to know that you don’t know?
- What might be true that you haven’t considered?
- What will be the bigger significance of gaining this?
It may not seem natural at first, but with practice these new skills can be developed and mastered for powerful results. When applied in the coaching experience, curiosity and intuition inspire a creative learning environment that helps the client envision new perspectives and possibilities.
So how curious are you?What level of comfort do you have with gut feelings? Ask yourself the following…
- As a coach, what makes you curious?
- What captures your attention?
- How likely is it that you will pursue a hunch?
- What holds you back? What’s the hesitancy?
Imagine the coaching adventures that are waiting for you and your clients. Begin now to strengthen and master these coaching skills. What steps will you take today to develop curiosity and intuition?
About the Author: Tracy Flori is a professional coach, speaker and trainer. She is the founder of TrueWay LLC, (truewaycoaching.com) a life and leadership coaching organization. Tracy is professionally trained to administer and debrief various behavioral temperament and emotional intelligence assessments. Her passion is equipping leaders, teams and families with understanding and skills to advance their lives. She can be reached by emailing, firstname.lastname@example.org.