How To Be A Curious Leader



A curious leader knows that “curiosity is the gateway to opportunity.”

Both personal curiosity and that inspired and encouraged in others. Not the intrusive curiosity of the voyeur, snoop, busybody or idle prier. It is curiosity that is the gateway to opportunity.

It is the curiosity that celebrates unfolding possibilities and discovering new information. It delights in unique insights and varied experiences that individual members can bring to a group and from its diversity, the unity of a shared vision, agreed upon goals, strategy and an exciting adventure that generates enthusiasm and energy.

Curiosity requires leaders to be in learning mode. When leaders are curious and open they are connected to others and to ideas that create good synergy –and SUCCESS!

The benefits coming from a place of curiosity are clear:

  • Leaders are experienced as authentic
  • People speak openly
  • There is a collaborative mindset in conversations
  • People feel included and connected as a leader communicates from this mindset
  • It opens up innovation and new thinking in the environment

The skills to practice to express curiosity are easy:

  • As leaders are questioned they don’t get defensive, they share their thinking.
  • If someone has a better idea, the leader incorporates it into the solution.
  • If the team can’t understand the idea, concept or direction, the leader asks what they need to better understand and provides it.
  • If people are doing something different than the direction set, the leader first seeks to explore in a non-judgmental, non-faultfinding, manner why this is happening.

The truth is that verbal communication is not the easiest mode to connect with others and yet, it is the tool we most use.

Body language, facial expressions, tone and demeanor can help or hinder. If you are not genuinely curious about what can be discovered, what others can contribute, you can’t fake it. If they are on your team they are smart enough to recognize it when all you want is confirmation or to assign blame.

To connect with others, to elicit new ideas, concepts and opportunities, be curious and welcome curiosity in others to help yourself and your team achieve success.

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.”
Ken Robinson