Curiosity Is The Key

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“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

–     Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948), Indian lawyer and political ethicist who led Indian’s movement to independence

Ever long for the days when the term “political ethicist” didn’t cause one to break out in tears or laughter — either because of the sheer hopelessness of the idea or the sheer wackiness of the idea?  But I digress – in the very first sentence!

Today is a cool day for me.  I get to teach and coach.  I get to do it most days, but it’s the #1 priority on the ol’ calendar today.  Why do I love it so much?  It’s about capabilities.  Possibilities.  Maximizing potential.  Teaching and coaching are the third and fourth-best gifts we can give another person.  (Presence is #1, and Listening #2, for those of you scoring at home…)

Hold on, though.  It all starts with curiosity!

It’s tempting to go home each evening with the same set of skills and experiences, knowledge and perspectives with which we arrive each morning.  Why bother, if that’s gonna be the case?

When we’re curious — when we ask questions and genuinely want people to “tell us more about that…” the fences come down, the barriers are removed and growth occurs.

Presence, listening, teaching and coaching are where the magic happens.  One of my favorite clients calls it “The Boom Sauce.”

Capabilities grow with us when we challenge ourselves.  Possibilities become probabilities as our capabilities increase.  Potential becomes the new norm and the foundation from which we re-set and seek to grow again.

Let’s make today an even cooler day.  Let’s commit to spending 25% of today focused on what we’re capable of.  The other 75%, we can just do what we do, but let’s keep a note pad handy.  Write down how each feels, whether it helps us move the needle more.  Let’s get a sense for which one is “energizing and effortless.” And then tomorrow — and each day after — let’s shoot for 1% more than the day before.

Postscript:  I realize we have to get our jobs done; we have to do what we do.  When we do it from a learning, coaching, teaching and capabilities perspective, it’s essentially Mary Poppins’ “Spoonful of Sugar” on steroids.

 

 


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