Infinite Potential

Curiosity: The key to growth through coaching

June 8th, 2020

Whether you are developing as a “leader as coach” or are already a professional coach, curiosity is an important skill to be effective as a coach or a leader. My ICF PCC Marker Taxonomy discusses coach behaviors that are specifically rooted in curiosity (more below).

Experts know, coaches want to know. To want to know, you must be curious. Curiosity is the basis of the Appreciative Inquiry method. Curiosity is a skill at the foundation of good coaching and is a state of Being that is characterized by openness and accepting the psychological state of “not knowing”. Only from a state of not knowing can you be fully curious and open to accepting to what your coaching client “knows”. This includes what our client experiences and the meaning that is potential in what your client knows. Fully partnering with your client to reveal what they know and who they are becoming becomes possible when we are fully and completely curious with them. Being fully and completely curious creates the opportunity and foundation where trust is nurtured and develops. Our openness and receptivity that results from being curious invites (allows) our client to be more open to who they are and who they are becoming.


Meditate on what it means to be curious. Consider the dictionary definition of curiosity:

Curiosity: (noun) a strong desire to know or learn something.

Ask yourself, what do I need to be fully curious. What is getting in the way of my being fully curious with my clients.

In reviewing your coaching process look for those moments when you are most curious and the impact it has on your coaching client and the coaching process. Identify where you stop being curious. Explore what is happening within you at those moments. What are you substituting for curiosity? What do you need to trust to allow yourself to be fully and completely curious?


If you or your organization is interested in a presentation on the taxonomy or “coach specific” training based on the taxonomy feel free to contact me. I have two developed presentations to introduce people to the Taxonomy:

The Learning Markers (presented to multiple ICF chapters)


The Freedom from the Burden of Self Markers