The Case for Curious Leadership

Nothing new comes from the status quo. There is no new awareness, no problem solving, no value creation, no innovation and no adaptability without asking the questions that inspire further exploration. Curiosity is the path to creating anything new!

Benefits of Curiosity – why bother?

  • Be happier, healthier and live longer (a study said it was so!)
  • Increased creativity, innovation and successful change
  • Think more deeply and rationally about decisions
  • More adaptable to uncertain market conditions and external pressures

Barriers to Curiosity – what gets in the way?

  • Assumptions, the curse of knowledge, being a know-it-all
  • The belief that curiosity will slow things down or increase risk
  • Seeking efficiency at the expense of exploration
  • Pressure to complete work quickly (versus challenge the process and ask questions)

Becoming Curious – it’s a practice that can be developed and improved.

  • Ask lots of open-ended questions and then listen without judgement
  • Add curiosity into your routines. For example, rather than mindlessly going through your morning, examine what you do and ask why, consider how you can improve each element and what could be added or removed to achieve the outcomes that matter to you.
  • Pause and notice. When you’re at your most curious, you’re engaged in noticing.
  • Choose curiosity over comfort. Enjoyment (doing, eating, or having what you know you like) is different from fulfillment (well-being linked to a sense of purpose.) Be open to new people and experiences.

If you think about the last time you experienced fear or worry, what was the physical sensation? A common description is that it feels like an internal contraction. Curiosity is a way of opening up and getting beyond what’s creating fear.

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