Simple Wisdom Tip #70: Be Curious

One area of challenge for virtually all of us is communication.  How can we become even better at communicating with our family, friends and colleagues?  The more skilled one becomes in this critical area, the better one’s life usually turns out. I often coach people to approach a delicate conversation by being curious rather than stating a position or directly questioning another person.  For example, instead of telling a colleague in a meeting, “I don’t agree with that,” or “that won’t work,” try saying something like, “Tom, I’d like to agree with you on this but I’m concerned about the possible effect on this group of people.  How do we address that?”  Likewise, rather than asking a spouse or friend, “why did you do that?” (probably with a slight frown on your face), say “Sally, help me understand your thinking behind that decision.”  See the difference.  The former will more likely lead to confrontation and argument; the latter more likely will lead to discussion and increased understanding because the question’s tone lands better on people.  Give it a try.

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