It’s 6pm and I’m relieved to be sitting in the lounge at Glasgow airport as it’s absolutely pouring with rain. I had walked from my hotel into the city centre, but without appropriate footwear, a rain jacket or umbrella I was getting pretty soaked. Interested as I was to explore and discover a new city (I’ve never been here before) the rain won and I headed to the comfort of the airport lounge having seen very little of a city I was curious about. Having had some time to reflect on my day I realise that the word curious has been present for the majority of it. Let me explain…..

As part of a team delivering training on challenging conversations, I came to the conclusion that as we grow we stop being curious. As a child we are constantly asking why. I know that with two young children the word why is always in use, and I make a conscious choice to steer away from seeming frustrated by the persistence of why. Why allows us to learn, to challenge, to disagree, to share, to give an opinion and to teach. So why are we told the word is annoying or rude? Even in some training sessions the word why is approached with caution and can often be replaced with for what reason.

We stop asking why so much and start answering our own questions for fear of being judged for our ‘whys’. Our curiosity is dulled and our wonder for things diminishes.

SO how would it be if you were to encourage the curiosity? What would it bring you and others? When I think about today and think about the challenging conversations that lie ahead for a number of the delegates in the room, I think about how allowing the space for being curious may just help them in their plight to understand and empower others. Curiosity builds relationships and understanding. Having positive intent when communicating with others and asking questions to discover more can only move us in a direction that might just lead to something wonderful.

As the quote states there are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.

Maybe it’s time we became childlike again in our ability to connect with curiosity. Just imagine where is might lead us.

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