Quick Coaching Tools – Being Curious

Being curious is about getting Coachees to think outside the box, creatively and non-judgementally, and to be open to what emerges.

Be Curious

Being Curious is one of my Quick Coaching Tools. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of coaching tips, tools and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your coaching practice and professionalism. You could call it coaching in a hurry!

What & Why

The purpose of ‘Being Curious’ is to get Coachees to think outside the box, creatively and non-judgementally, and to be open to what emerges from the discussion. This means the Coach is both curious themselves and is also stimulating the Coachee’s curiosity. It means asking purposeful question and responding to answers with drill-down questions. Genuine curiosity does not sound like an interrogation. It is a natural flowing dialogue between two adults with a common purpose. It means a deep enquiry into how the Coachee usually sees things and then, by using further questions, inviting them to see them in a different way. Helping them discover the emerging issues and understand their interconnectedness and interdependencies.


As for ‘how’ to be curious, a good place to start would be to keep in mind a simple model – EPIL:

  • Understand what the Coachee is Experiencing by using your own feelings about what is being discussed as a mirror to make sense of their feelings;
  • Allow yourself to gently explore what is emerging from the Coachee with an openness to their positive future Possibilities;
  • Tune in to the Coachee and take stock of your Intentions: an intention to help; a desire to connect and assist; an interest in supporting them with kindness and compassion; a stance of positive regard towards the Coachee.
  • Let go. Witness what is there without holding on tightly to or chasing any firm positions or opinions yourself. Relax and let go so you create space for the Coachee’s insights, inspiration and alternative views.

Further Reading: ‘Coach like a child – The Power of Curiosity‘ (external link to The Coach Academy)

Author: Trevor Sherman

Trevor Sherman: Author, Blogger and Coach. What do I do? I develop leadership training material and personal learning modules. I am the owner and operator of this Blog. I coach senior executives for their development and role transition. I am based in Northamptonshire UK and operate globally - in person and through technology.

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