Our Method

Curiosity: The Key to Shifting From Reacting to Responding, Even in Conflict

If you’re the leader of a team—whether a company, an organizational department, a board of directors, a group of volunteers, or your family at home—you’re going to have to answer what we call the “million dollar question”:

How do you have conversations that result in an authentic exchange of thoughts and feelings, promote respectful and productive dialogue, and lead us to a place of calmness, confidence, and abundance—even in high-stakes situations?

Based on our decade of work and research, we have discovered that the answer to that question is curiosity.

When you aren’t curious about yourself or others, you continue to produce the same results:

  • You react, to everything! It is stressful, frustrating, emotionally draining, time consuming and stands in the way of getting what you want.
  • You feel the need to ‘win’ and ‘be right’ at any cost.
  • Relationships get damaged and your leadership/parenting suffers.
  • You don’t feel like you are living the life you want.
  • Your values and wants remain undefined and unclear.
  • You fail to set appropriate boundaries.
  • Negative emotions quickly take over and when faced with conflict, you either explode or withdraw.
  • You constantly tell others what to do – but they “don’t listen”, it’s easier to do it yourself.
  • You become stuck, blind to opportunities before you, and unable to achieve your desired outcomes.

It looks like this:



The good news is that we’re all naturally curious as children. As adults, we just need to relearn those Curiosity Skills that once came so easily:

  • Be present in our conversations to actively listen.
  • Choose how we want to listen and respond
  • Ask curious open questions to learn and understand

These three Curiosity Skills help you understand yourself and others in conversation, manage your emotions, and create new opportunities with dynamically different results.  The Curiosity Skills help you shift from reacting to others (above) TO responding to engage and inspire others (below).




Most people believe they are curious. Truth bomb alert!  Most are not, especially in their conversations. It is something that is rarely considered. Think about it – how curious are you in your conversations?

Even in professions such as health care, coaching, sales –  where professionals ask open questions to gather information for intake forms – most believe they are curious.  They are asking open questions, or prompted from technology to ask questions, to learn more.  However, in our experience such an approach is more like checking off a to-do list, listening with a focus on self to get to the next step.  There is very little curiosity or desire to learn more with the focus on task completion.  This is reacting, not engaging and limits the ability to connect with others – making it challenging to best serve your clients or patients.  When we are curious in conversations we are fully focused on the client, present and choosing how we listen with a focus on the speaker to learn more, dig deeper and get a real understanding of what is going on for them.  This is how we understand the needs of others allowing us to respond in a way that is engaging, creating a connection.

The truth of the matter is, most people spend a lot of time reacting when what they really want is to be responding.  They just don’t know how.  We have the framework to help you get what you want.




“Curiosity helps you with moral distress without being seen as combative. It allows you the freedom to be the leader you want to be, gives you a lens to look at for engagement, enrollment and trying to hear and understand others. You have to be present and nurture it, building the confidence of local leaders so they can do it too.”

“The future holds success for those leaders who know when to ask and when to listen. Whether as a refresher or gaining new tools – INSTITUTE OF CURIOSITY for Leaders provides insight on how we need to communicate to build relationships.” – Lead Facilitator, Women Leading the Way

“Thanks to the Institute of Curiosity I now know the core values of my company and what makes it strong.  I know what it is to be a curious leader, see the bigger picture and hold others accountable.  I feel much more at ease, clear and focused.”

“Using these skills has changed my relationship with my teenage child.  After a recent conversation he thanked me for really listening to him and trying to understand his point of view.”

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