Using Curiosity to Gain Insight in Your Coaching Sessions

Author: Maggie Dunn ~ Coaching Talent Lead, Executive Coach, and EMP Master Practitioner

One of my favorite Albert Einstein quotes is “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” When I first read this quote, I thought it sounded remarkably humble. But as I reflected on it, I began to wonder about the discoveries that are possible with curiosity as passionate as Einstein’s.

When we coach with the EMP, curiosity can lead to powerful insights and profound shifts in thinking and executing. The exploration stimulated by curiosity serves clients in discovering their entrepreneurial strengths, exploring how to further leverage those strengths in pursuit of their goals, and creatively addressing areas for further development.

As coaches, curiosity helps us prepare for the initial coaching session . . .

  • How do these strengths play out in this client’s role and organization?
  • How are these strengths currently serving the client?
  • What might the client want to explore developing further?
  • How could this exploration support her hopes for her business?

During the coaching sessions, a shared curiosity and exploration develops, leading to discovery, deeper awareness, learning, and growth . . .

  • Why is an entrepreneurial mindset especially relevant now?
  • How does your high future focus serve you in this role?
  • What do you remember about the last time you were feeling really passionate about your work?
  • How does your optimism affect your team?

With Team Coaching, curiosity stimulates new possibilities and team development . . .

  • What entrepreneurial strengths are most relevant for this team’s success?
  • How could we further leverage the strengths of individual team members?
  • What could hinder the team’s success?
  • What are the options for developing the strengths we need to achieve our goals?

It’s so easy to draw quick conclusions about scores and to make assumptions, often without even realizing we are doing it – especially for those of us who score high on Action Orientation. While passionate curiosity may have come naturally to Albert Einstein, exploring challenges with curiosity and inquisitive thinking is a skill worth developing. It can begin with a simple “I wonder . . . ”

Maggie W. Dunn is the Coaching Talent Lead and Executive Coach for the Leadership Development Institute at Eckerd College and is an EMP Master Practitioner. Contact Maggie at dunnmw@eckerd.edu.