Technology – human connection is ever more important.  The old command and control form of leadership doesn’t’ work as well in our information rich workplace.  Plus, technology specifically Artificial Intelligence, has the power to do many jobs that humans do today.  As a leader, telling people what to do no longer is effective.  Engaging people’s minds and creativity will be crucial.   To do so, a key skill for leaders will be curiosity.

 

Being curious will lead to better solutions, greater creativity, and improved development of others.

It tends to EXPAND thinking.  The best leaders I’ve ever been around were naturally curious and asked great questions, leading to better results.  The great thing is that you can increase your curiosity by building a repertoire of questions.

 

Examples:

 

Get more details before you respond.

“Tell me more”. Truly understand what others’ viewpoints are, even if they may not agree with your initial thinking.

 

Paraphrase others.

“I heard you say……” This serves multiple purposes.  It clarifies what has been stated to help avoid unnecessary conflicts because you jump to a conclusion or misunderstood what the other person said. Also, it shows the other person you value their input.

 

“What else could we be doing to ____________” Fill in the blank – improve, be more efficient, sell more products/services, find more customers. Ask this three times – keep challenging your team to think of new ideas.

 

“What are we not thinking about?” This broadens the discussion.  Often, we get down a path and may miss opportunities to bring a different perspective.
“What happens if we don’t take action?” Its often easy to delay decisions and in essence kill ideas as they time out.  While doing nothing is an option, understand the risks, downsides and upsides of NOT acting.

 

“Couldn’t we at least….” Sometimes big initiatives never get off the ground or the team may be trying to create the ultimate solution.  Maybe its better to take a smaller step, or a pilot project to test and learn.

 

This isn’t an exhaustive list but a good starting point to becoming a curious leader.  Ask questions to clarify, understand, and to challenge others to take different perspective or think more broadly.  The benefits will be a higher performing team.

 

Joni Lindquist, MBA, CFP®, a former corporate executive, is a Principal and Financial Planner and Executive Coach at Aspyre Wealth Partners.   She helps people Master What’s Next®, no matter what phase of life.  Aspyre believes in helping clients clarify their goals, build a plan, and take action to make progress toward their aspirations.

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