Of all the significant leadership characteristics and behaviors, one of the most important is curiosity.
Take the example of a driver cutting off another driver in traffic. Most reactions would be one of anger or aggravation. A curious person might wonder what kind of day that person is having or wonder why they’re in such a hurry. Likely an unrealistic example, but to the point — be more curious and less furious.
Curiosity can help you as a leader to become more solutions focused and reveal possibilities not considered before.
Here are three tips to be more curious as a leader:
#1 Dream big
As a leader it can be tempting to focus on all the hassles and frustrations you face on a daily basis.
Instead of wallowing in self pity and victimized thinking, try to develop a vision for your team. Picture in your own mind how you would like the department to function in the future.
Focusing your mind on what you want instead of what you don’t want can help you and your team push through the daily challenges to a more successful future.
#2 Be solution focused
Some leaders and team members will focus on blame storming, pointing fingers and making excuses — none of which helps solve the problem.
A curious leader is constantly focused on finding a solution.
Avoid dwelling on the past and focus on actions designed to move the situation forward.
#3 Ask great questions
You can increase your own curiosity and the curiosity of your team members by asking great open-ended, possibility-revealing questions.
Examples might be:
- What would make the situation better?
- What do you think is causing the problem?
- What solution should we try first?
Asking questions will involve your team and when they’re involved, it creates buy-in for the solution to the problem.
As you increase your curiosity you’ll find that you and your team are more positive and your operating results will increase.
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