Curiosity is a main motivator for a leader — both personal curiosity and that inspired and encouraged in others, not the intrusive curiosity of the voyeur, snoop, busybody or idle prying peson. It is curiosity that is the gateway to opportunity.
It is the curiosity that celebrates unfolding possibilities and discovering new information. It delights in unique insights and varied experiences that individual members can bring to a group and create, from its diversity, the unity of a shared vision, agreed-upon goals, strategy and an exciting adventure that generates enthusiasm and energy.
Curiosity requires leaders to be in learning mode. When leaders are curious and ope,n they are connected to others and to ideas that create good synergy — and success!
The benefits coming from a place of curiosity are clear:
- Leaders are experienced as authentic
- People speak openly.
- There is a collaborative mindset in conversations.
- People feel included and connected as a leader communicates from this mindset.
- It opens up innovation and new thinking in the environment/
The skills to practice to express curiosity are easy:
- As leaders are questioned they don’t get defensive, they share their thinking.
- If someone has a better idea, the leader incorporates it into the solution.
- If the team can’t understand the idea, concept or direction, the leader asks what they need to better understand and provides it.
- If people are doing something different than the direction set, the leader first seeks to explore in a non-judgmental, non-faultfinding, manner why this is happening.
The truth is, verbal communication is not the easiest mode to connect with others. And yet, it is the tool we most use. Body language, facial expressions, tone and demeanor can help or hinder. If you are not genuinely curious about what can be discovered, what others can contribute, you can’t fake it. If these people are on your team, they are smart enough to recognize it when all you want is confirmation or to assign blame.
To connect with others, to elicit new ideas, concepts and opportunities, be curious and welcome curiosity in others to help yourself and your team achieve success.
Curiosity is the engine of achievement. ~ Ken Robinson
Synthesis CEO Bobbie Goheen is expert in focusing top-management dynamics on a shared vision, specific goals and creative collaborations to achieve them. She has done this for Fortune 100 corporations, clients large and small and across a range of enterprises here and abroad. She is a keynote speaker and author. Connect with Goheen on Twitter and Linkedin.
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