Why am I stressing out on vacation? Because I am experiencing a number of technical uncertainties at the moment (too long to go into). My great fear (a big curiosity killer) is damaging my computer irreparably and losing all my data. At the same time, everything seems to be working so slowly while we finally have perfect summer weather and I want to be outdoors (so performance and time pressure, also curiosity killers). Why am I even on my computer on my vacation? Because a client sent something back for revisions the day I was leaving. We agreed on an August 14 deadline, but I decided to get it done now so that I can stop thinking about it. Ick! Still, I have now sent it off and shall hope for better conditions and more curiosity tomorrow.
I had a really good week but now have to work over the weekend on things for other people. I’m not feeling very curious, just put out that after two weeks of long days and good results I can’t stop and enjoy life. Ah, well.
One thing I’m realizing this week is how often I actually do practice interpersonal curiosity and openness in the classroom. That is a really nice realization for me. I seem to go into a special mode where I wait to see what the person means and ask really good questions to find out more (even if they aren’t classic Inquiry questions). For the time being, I’m satisfied with that, even if I don’t transfer that openness to my life outside the classroom as often as I would wish.
Well, I didn’t practice much curiosity today (Sunday), but I should have some big opportunites to practice tomorrow. I’m teaching a one-week workshop with two participants. (Don’t ask.) Curiosity may be one of my best tools, I’m thinking. Will keep you posted.
After the 10-day Inquiry challenge I did, I wrote that although I did not practice a structured form of Inquiry very much during those 10 days, I did practice the mindset. That, I felt, was more important.
Similarly, at the end of the workshop just I taught, I asked the participants to say what they were taking away from the course. I use a stuffed turtle named Harry as a talking stick. That means that no one is allowed to speak while someone else is holding Harry, including me. I found myself listening with a high level of interest and openness to what was being said, with the primary goal of understanding what people were saying. In other words, I practiced inquiry without saying a word. As simple as that.
Today I could say I practiced Inquiry without a word. Tomorrow I’ll tell you how. 😉
Today I did, for the most part, manage to be curious about and respond to my participants’ challenges. For the most part.