When we think about curiosity many of us revert back to our childhood. We are reminded of the freedom to discover new characters in books or find different approaches to attacking a math problem or fun ways to cause an explosion during a science experiment. We may even think about playing in the sand and exploring the perfect mixture of water and sand to build our best castles. Being curious comes naturally to children. It’s part of childhood.
But curiosity is key to growth and discovery for leaders.
Curiosity is the secret ingredient to helping leaders understand new trends and grow their leadership skills. Being curious empowers leaders to take risks, deal with failure and regroup to make a comeback.
How curious are you?
It may seem easier to just keep doing the same things over and over that we have mastered through the years, yet eventually that thinking will just get us stuck and bored. To remain relevant in our fields, leaders must develop a keen sense of curiosity and commitment to continued learning.
Five Strategies To Grow Curiosity In Leaders:
- Understand the Importance of Curiosity
Curiosity is essential for leaders to grow as it drives continuous learning, adaptability, innovation, and creativity. Curious leaders listen actively, empathize with others, and make better-informed decisions, fostering engagement and motivation within their teams.
By seeking out diverse perspectives and investigating problems deeply, they develop a growth mindset and build a learning culture, leading to personal and organizational development. Ultimately, curiosity empowers leaders to navigate complexities and embrace change, staying relevant and effective in an ever-evolving world.
2. Identify An Area To Grow
No matter where we are leading from or what point we are in our career trajectory, leading is synonymous with learning. The first step in developing our leadership curiosity is to decide on the area we need to grow. Leaders can do this by:
- Evaluating how they stack up to the current skills required in their field
- Choosing an interest that fascinates them that may add to their leadership toolbox
- Asking colleagues what experiences or knowledge could help them become stronger performers
- Joining a networking group that shares information about their industry.
3. Look For a Mentor
Another great way to cultivate our curiosity is by reaching out and finding a mentor. Mentors can be bosses in or outside of our departments or they can be friends or even relatives.
Ambition in Motion's executive mastermind group
is a valuable resource for executives and managers as it provides access to experienced mentors who offer personalized guidance, networking opportunities, and valuable insights for navigating leadership challenges. The program enhances leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness while promoting continuous learning and professional development, ultimately empowering mentees to achieve greater success and fulfillment in their roles.
The magic of a mentor is that they can:
- Help leaders see possibilities and even connect them with interesting leaders.
- Discuss helpful skills and experiences to grow their careers
- Share their powerful stories of missteps and mistakes
- Guide leaders how to best approach difficult obstacles
4. Practice Your New Discoveries
Of course, the best way to master what our curiosity has led us to is by using the new- found knowledge, experience or skills. Try applying it on the job or in a volunteer position. Test it out with colleagues or incorporate it into a project you are working on. Even think of sharing it with a co-worker because if we can teach it we have truly learned it.
The Ripple Effect of Leadership Behavior
Curious leaders are always on the lookout for new ideas and approaches. When leaders encourage curiosity among their teams, they create a culture that fosters innovation and creative problem-solving. As team members feel empowered to explore different possibilities, the organization as a whole becomes more adaptable and can respond better to challenges.
Additionally, when leaders judge themselves based on their intentions rather than only the outcomes, they can better understand their actions' impact on their team. This self-reflection enables them to admit mistakes and learn from them openly. Such vulnerability and transparency contribute to creating a culture of trust and psychological safety, where team members feel safe to voice their opinions without fear of judgment.
A curious leader is naturally more inclined to listen to their team members actively. By showing genuine interest in their employees' perspectives, ideas, and concerns, leaders can boost employee engagement and foster a sense of value and appreciation within the workforce. Engaged employees are more likely to be motivated, productive, and committed to the organization's goals.