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Staying Curious

Sep 20, 2022

by Melody Stacy

 

Curiosity killed the cat.

A useful illustration of why we shouldn’t be nosing around in situations that don’t involve us? Maybe. But as leaders, we may want to take a different perspective.

Curiosity sparks the trust, growth, and joy.

Certainly not as catchy. But this version is leadership gold.

Curiosity is a powerful mindset.

We were all born with an inquisitive approach to our world that, unfortunately, tends to dwindle as we age. As we move along in our careers, things like our ego can completely squelch any remaining glimmer.

Be curious, not judgmental. - Walt Whitman

If we can nurture this pilot light, we can spark many powerful elements for ourselves and our teams.

Stay curious a little bit longer.

One way to nurture curiosity is to focus on asking questions. As we do, we are forced to slow down, unlocking a simple yet powerful leadership strategy.

When we listen more and talk less, we can avoid missteps while building empathy. It’s a win-win way to let our team members know we value them and their thoughts.

💫 Curiosity hack: Ask the AWE question.

Introduced by Michael Bungay Stanier in The Coaching Habit, this question is literally packed with awesomeness. When someone brings us a concern or idea, we can follow up with, “And what else?” Iterate this until we’ve peeled back the onion and revealed all the nuances, getting to the heart of the matter.

Another benefit of practicing curiosity? Research shows when we are curious about a concept or topic, not only do we enhance brain plasticity, making it more likely to stick, we release dopamine as we’re viewing learning as a pleasurable endeavor. This makes curiosity one of the keystones of innovation.

When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. - Walt Disney

💫 Curiosity hack: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

When we realize that any sense of control we feel is an illusion, at best, we can be free from trying to determine the outcome. The truth is, we’re either uncomfortable accepting the status quo, or we’re uncomfortable chasing greatness. We can choose our discomfort by finding comfort and joy in the fascinating adventure of growth.

It’s okay to be enthusiastically open and approach life and leadership with an inquisitive interest. In fact, we recommend it.

 


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