5 for 5 blog – Curiosity is the differentiator

23 Jan


For all of the articles on productivity and happiness and career development, perhaps it is the curious people that have it figured out.

Think about the top performers on your team….are they the ones constantly asking why or how we might try something new?

As leaders if we are focused on building an innovative organization, curiosity has to be the foundation. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but no curiosity is sure to stunt the growth of your team and the business.

Create a circle of safety

People are naturally afraid of sounding silly when asking a question. As the leader, your role is to draw those questions and ideas out of your team and encourage the full range of question: from conservative to crazy? If your team can see that some of these questions spark interest and are followed up with projects, it should help create the right momentum to generate more questions in the future.

Start asking questions yourself

If you want your team to get engaged with their curiosity, start asking some great open ended questions yourself. This will not only serve to create the circle of safety we spoke about above, but may provide insight for team members to better understand the challenges within your team.

Make observation a priority

For those with a lean background, a Gemba walk can be a fascinating way to spur curiosity. Go observe your clients in their natural work environment. Even just sitting back in a meeting and observing dynamics between leaders raise questions. The point is that mindfully observing will be a catalyst for tons of questions as you put yourself in the right situations to notice why things work (or don’t) the way that they do.

Curious people seem to have a knack for learning. And if learning enables deeper engagement in the role and ultimately happiness in knowing that the curiosity pays off in results and business impact, it should be critical to every leader to create the environment and opportunities to bring that out for all their employees.

Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

A good place to have bad ideas – by Austin Kleon

How to be heard – by Seth Godin

32 Easy Exercises to Boost Your Creativity Everyday – by Ayse Birsel

The Science of Negotiation — Win More by Solving Other People’s Problems – by Tina Seelig

Meditating Under Duress  – by Tony Stubblebine

All the best, kevin