Try a Curiosity ConversationBrian Grazer
In over thirty years of producing TV shows and movies, Brian Grazer has learned the value of using face-to-face discussion to investigate topics he is curious about. He calls these “curiosity conversations.” Simply put, a curiosity conversation is a meeting with no agenda that stems purely from the curiosity that you have about someone. These conversations force you to disrupt your comfort zone and discover creative inspiration.
To conduct a successful curiosity conversation, use these tips:
1. Be present - Pay attention and really listen to your conversation partner. Notice what topics they are passionate about, and encourage them to expand on them.
2. Be prepared - Do your homework. Come prepared with basic knowledge of the topics you want to discuss and some open-ended questions you want to ask. This is a signal both of genuine interest and that you respect their time.
3. Be willing to learn - Be willing to make mistakes and be wrong. That’s how you learn.
Your challenge is to find someone with knowledge about something related to a project or initiative you’re working on . We encourage you to look for someone outside of your usual conversations; perhaps they’re a friend of a friend or someone you admire. This doesn’t need to be an in-person conversation; it could be a phone or a video call. Then have a 30-minute curiosity conversation with them. Afterward, record yourself sharing how the conversation went.
Follow Brian Grazer’s tips to have a successful curiosity conversation:
Tip 1: Pick someone, and ask if they’ll make time to speak with you for twenty minutes. Specify what you want to talk about.
Tip 2: What would be the best outcome from fulfilling your wish? How would it make you feel? Write this best outcome down in 3-6 words as well. Now take a moment and imagine it fully!
Tip 3: What is it within you that holds you back from fulfilling your wish? What is it in you that stands in the way of fulfilling it? Write this obstacle down in 3-6 words. Take a moment and imagine the inner obstacle occurring.
Tip 4: Once the conversation starts, listen closely, pick up on what the person you’re talking to is saying, and ask questions that expand on the stories they tell or the points they make. It’s okay to deviate from your prepared questions.
Tip 5: Don’t share your own story or your own observations. Listen. Ask questions.
Tip 6: Be respectful of the person’s time without unnecessarily cutting off a great conversation. Even if things are going well, when the allotted time has passed, it’s okay to say something like, “I don’t want to take too much of your time.”
Tip 7: Be grateful. Beyond saying thank you, provide a specific compliment on the conversation.