Curiosity is often an underestimated and underutilized trait – especially when it comes to discussions surrounding leadership. However, to leave curiosity off the table is a grave mistake, particularly for a leader trying to succeed.
The simple truth is that curiosity is essential to success – both as an individual and as a leader. Curiosity can lead to a thirst for knowledge and create a foundation for finding new discoveries and the willingness to try something new.
Curiosity is a critical component of innovative thinking. If not for curious minds, new ideas and inventions would never have been possible. There are multiple reasons for this belief – and many more reasons to encourage curiosity in the workforce.
Dr. Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic, in an article for Harvard Business Review, linked curiosity, intellectual acuity, and emotional intelligence. According to his report, all three are essential for qualified and successful leaders.
A curious leader is more likely to ask their team for ideas and input. More than that, they’ll sincerely want to hear from the group and be willing to apply any sound concepts. As such, their teams are more involved, more motivated, and happier with their company roles.
A leader who encourages curiosity within their team is more likely to hear creative solutions. This also has the added benefit of stemming fear, promoting self-confidence, and reducing toxic work culture.
Knowing How to Ask Questions
Coming up with a question is never difficult. The trick here is coming up with the right questions. For example, instead of asking what is wrong with one’s team, ask what a leader can do to help improve the team. Ask what alternative paths are available, how the team might feel, etc. These sorts of questions lead to discussion and improvement.
Behaviors of a Curious Leader
Curious leaders can easily be spotted within a crowd. They’re the ones constantly striving to learn new things, take risks, explore the world around them, and forge a new path for their company.
All of these behaviors are directly linked to curiosity, not to mention success. To encourage one is to promote the other. Most importantly, a leader knows to encourage others to obtain positive traits – in turn; this establishes a trend in their wake.