Curiosity can make Conversations Powerful

Adam Callender
3 min readFeb 12

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Image courtesy of Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

First of all, apologies that I took an unannounced extended time out over 2022. I don’t know about you, however, I found myself peddling hard the entire year until going on leave for all of December and half of January.

While we were away, reflecting on the year in quiet times, my thoughts kept returning to the importance of curiosity. It was a major lesson for me of 2022. To keep curiosity front of mind and to consider how it can help us every day.

It is easy to talk too much, to make assumptions, to lack curiosity about those that we are speaking with.

Often assuming that everyone is fascinated by what we want to say. A Shakespearean monologue, a soliloquy, like how Othello made a mess of things, springs to mind.

I have always been fond of a chat, coaching has helped me a lot curb my overexpression, my love of articulation, my joy in mentoring others and indeed sharing whatever I have been thinking a lot about lately.

Once you’re on a roll, it’s very easy to not notice that you’ve worn out your welcome. You may not even realize that the other person is politely trying to get a word in, or subtly signaling that they need to be elsewhere (possibly, anywhere else if you have been really boring). Mark Goulston

To talk about the solution that we want to share before we fully understand the situation. Daily, I will try to stay out of judgement, to reflect and to look for an outcome. Making sure that it is not simply mine, thus avoiding misunderstanding and therefor error or confusion.

In our conversations, we might start off okay, however, as we continue, we can struggle, as Goulston reminds us:

  1. Beginning — we start off as being relevant and concise,
  2. Continuing — enjoying the self-expression, we stop worrying about our audience and get into our verbal stride.
  3. Oblivion — tangents have taken us away, talking to ourselves, practically unaware of others.

The situation was once described to be as the person having two mouths and one ear, rather than the usual arrangement.

Often connected with a loss of or low empathy — not caring about how the other person is faring with the conversation.

In its worst form, it can be found in Mansplaining. It’s what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does. Merriam Webster

A potential vaccine can take the form of:

Active Listening, where paying close attention can assist us, however this relies on the other person(s) having an opportunity to speak.

A Question & Answer approach, instead of Business As Usual, simply asking questions and inviting questions for us to answer succinctly.

www.adamcallender.com

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Adam Callender

Sydney based, Adam coaches and mentors career professionals, leaders and business owners. He is fascinated by humans, motorsport, mountain bikes and technology.