This past week, I was working with a client who is exceptionally good at everything. He asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks and allowed us to deepen our conversation and the results that we both received from our time together.
After about an hour and fifteen minutes of working together, he asked, “How am I doing?” I asked him a couple of questions to make sure I understood the focus and framework of his question. He was literally asking me how effective, efficient and productive he was being as a client.
He was valuing our time together, believes I am a professional with significant experience and wanted to know how he compared to others and, regardless of comparisons, wanted to know how he could improve. His simple question kept reverberating throughout my day.
From the taxi ride to the airport, to the operations training I conducted before he and I met, it was clear to me that I felt I was smarter and more knowledgeable then those I had come in front of that day. I was often telling these other professionals how to do their jobs.
I am a blessed guy. I get to work with some pretty amazing people during the day and then spend my evenings with a very talented executive and leader, my wife. With all of these people I tend to feel humbled and it creates curiosity. I mean that I often feel curious around them and wonder about what I can learn.
What this client taught me this week, was how one question can open the door to a lifetime of relationships where curiosity is foundational. You better believe that the next taxi in which I sit will be driven by someone who can teach me something.
So, which of your employees never teaches you anything? What questions do you need to ask in order to achieve a state of curiosity?