Curiosity is no longer a passive proposition. It’s a pressing priority. In fact, curiosity might be the most under-the-radar and undervalued leadership competency in business today. Think about it… what could you accomplish if you practiced passionate, curious listening – really listening with intention and a true sense of purpose to learn and understand? What ideas and possibilities could you cultivate if you honed your ability to wonder out loud with those around you? What could others accomplish if you engaged with them in a way that communicated how fascinating and capable they truly were?
Curiosity has the power to transform the exchange of mere words into discovery and insight. It fills even a brief chat with possibilities, opportunities, and hope. It leaves others feeling strong, capable and like they have something of value to contribute. And it allows a career conversation to unlock deep understandings, activate motivation, spark drive, and focus action.
How curious are you? Are you able to:
- Suspend judgement?
- Let go of the “need to fix”?
- Say “I don’t understand”?
- Dig deeper?
- Follow another’s lead?
- Believe people are interesting?
In order to unlock curiosity, you must:
- Jettison your “skeptic”
- Gag your “fix it” reflex
- Embrace ignorance
- Woo the cue
- Lose control
- Expect surprises from every party
You might be able to fake listening but you can’t fake curiosity.