One of the most frustrating things about my journey as a leader is realizing that I’m not as open-minded as I’d like to be. Though I’d like to claim that I’m more curious than certain, I get a rude awakening when my know-it-all self emerges.
What I’ve learned is that I have a set of default behaviors when I am under stress. Specifically, I talk too much and stop listening. Lee Newman writes about this on the HBR Blog Network, recommending being aware of your defaults, anticipating and planning ahead to schedule tough conversations s when you’re more likely to be in an open frame of mind.
The benefits of an inquiring mind are many. Curiosity allows you to challenge the status quo and innovate. Curious leaders learn more, energize others and project true confidence that comes from not having to know everything.
Mario Testino’s quote is going to be posted prominently from now on: “My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.”
Curiosity may (or may not) have killed the cat, but it certainly can’t hurt your leadership.
Photo from freeimages.com.