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  • Writer's pictureMona Cooley

Curious George

Reading Dare to Lead by Brene Brown had me think of the Curious George, a toy that you wound up who was curious when he travelled around the house. How curious are you? Brene Brown mentions in her book DARE TO LEAD - The Psychology of Curiosity by George Loewenstein introduced his information gap perspective on curiousity. He proposed " that curiousity is the feeling of deprivation we experience when we identify and focus on a gap in our knowledge",

As Brene Brown says in her book - "Curiosity is an act of vulnerability and courage." Between what Loewenstein and Brown say - this is so true. Brene has talked about vulnerability in all her books ( I have them all) to help us to think of vulnerability not as a weakness but as a strength to have the courage to share your feelings and thoughts.

How many of you had tough conversations with family,hard meetings at work and had to make difficult decisions? Have you been curious enough to ask questions to understand more of about the person's perspective of what is happening or even asked yourself what is frustrating you about a situation.

Many times throughout the 25 years, facilitating family sessions, my curiousity ignites into action. Why? When I was struggling to figure out how to have better communication with my daughter with her feeling frustrated with me always jumping in to fix her situation, I reacted. YEP it took me several reactions to realize I needed to do something different such as asking " what has you frustrated with me when I am trying to help? She got to the point and said - You don't listen and you keep telling me what to do.

Yes it was blunt but it helped me to pay attention and start being curious by asking her "what has you saying I don't listen?". She said "mom you are telling me what to do instead of listening to what I am feeling and thinking". Then I asked, what does listening look like to you so I understand what it means to you. " Listening means to allow her to express her feelings, thoughts and not have me jumping in telling her what she should do. Give her the space to express what is happening to her and there is no expectation from her for me to solve her situation.

Something to think about. One of the tools I use in our 10-week session is On the Road to Honest, Healthy Conversation.

The first step is - I am going to state a statement - you rate it using the following guide:

A- Always M- Most of the Times S- Sometimes R - Rarely N- Never

" I can express thoughts and feelings without the fear of receiving personal criticism(s) from others"

The second step- now ask a family member, friend, work associate - what their answer is

The third step - BE CURIOUS GEORGE - if they say rarely - ask them what would have them feel they could express themselves without the concern of being criticized - LISTEN!!!

The fourth step - now you rate it for yourself - answer the question - what has you rate it the way you did

The fifth step - what did you learn about others and yourself ratings

The sixth step - how will you approach situations going forward for others and yourself

The seventh step - send me a note what knowledge you learned

We need more Curious Georges in the world. Why? I hear it constantly from people who are frustrated, upset is because they are not feeling heard and understood.

Give a gift today to someone - listen so they feel heard and understood!!! Be curious to ask what had them saying thank you for listening.

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