Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


That’s a great question…

If you’ve ever read my profile on the blog, you will know that the very essence of “genuine curiosity” as a concept is that you change your interactions with the world by asking open-ended, evocative questions.

Yes/No is a no-no

The main thing to remember with the genuine curiosity concept is that the questions should not be answerable with a yes/no response (unlike my daughter’s unusual questionnaire, at right). 

The idea is to get people to talk and see where the conversation goes.

I’ve heard some great questions since I’ve started listening for them.  Back in 2005, I wrote about a few general purpose “discovery questions,” best used on others – especially people you don’t know very well.

Going deeper

I have started a list of the really great questions I hear, and my favorites are those that cause really deep thinking.  These can be used on others as coaching exercises or, in many cases, on yourself to get to a deeper level of introspection.

One guy that has Great questions is Michael Bungay Stanier from Box of Crayons.  I’ve heard a number of his questions from interviews he’s done with David Allen (the “GTD Guy”) and have enjoyed them immensely.

I finally got around to watching an awesome, 5 minute film that Michael has created called “The 5.75 Questions You’ve Been Avoiding.”  This is an entertaining way to get to some really insightful questions – ones that can really help you improve yourself if you’re willing to put in the time to think about them.

After watching the video, if you like how he thinks be sure & check out the “Great Work Blog.”