If we stay curious we can continue to learn and grow as leaders and humans. Curiosity serves us well in many circumstances. Think about those conversations you have been involved in where someone has a viewpoint that is directly opposite of what you believe is correct. You have a variety of options in this situation. You can decide to agree just to get along. You can stay quiet and try to avoid expressing your viewpoint. You may be able to remove yourself from the situation. You can decide that your belief is important enough to you that you want to challenge them and go to battle to try to prove you are right. There may be other options, but these are some that always seem to come to mind. What other option do you have?
I believe curiosity is always an option. What if instead of pursuing one of the options outlined above you just decide to be curious with no judgement? Perhaps you could just tell the person that you are interested in what they said and ask them to tell you more. Just be curious in a positive, authentic way. You never know they may have a point to make that you have never considered and influence you to rethink your viewpoint.
Think about all the places being truly curious can serve you well.
Have you ever attended a workshop or a seminar and with the viewpoint that you already know most of what is on the agenda and you will just spend the time evaluating and critiquing the presenter and the material? If you have shown up with this view you have cheated yourself. Think of all the things you might be able to learn if you just came to the workshop or seminar with complete curiosity about what you might be able to learn.
Have there been times as a leader you have felt like you needed to voice and defend your viewpoint just because you had the biggest title in the room and felt the need to prove you were the smartest person in the room? If you have ever done this think of the opportunities you many have missed. Think of what curiosity could do for you. What if instead of needing to make your point you were just curious? Curiosity makes you appear interested in other viewpoints. It immediately says that you value other viewpoints and helps people with something valuable to say to do so. Curiosity elevates your credibility. It supports humility and even suggests that as a leader you know you don?t have all the answers and want opposing views. Curiosity helps build confidence in team members because they know you always want to get to the best solution, not just yours.
Remember that as children the way we all learned is by being curious about everything that we didn?t understand. We asked authentic questions looking for answers. At some point in our development we all became less curious and unwilling to acknowledge that we didn?t have all the answers. Its time to move curiosity up the use scale in all facets of our lives. As leaders and humans, the more curious we are the more we learn, the more we continue to grow and the less conflicts we encounter.
Lets move curiosity to a top of mind position so it is always there for us when we need it.