Do you inspire and nurture curiosity in others? Do your people?
Asking questions enables people to challenge their problems through a previously unrealised depth, without removing the control and ownership of the problem from them. Such questions can be as simple as ‘Why might that be the case’? and ‘Could there be another reason‘?
Sometimes individuals can only see the symptoms of issues they’re trying to address and may not be able to pinpoint the cause – a ‘wood for the trees’ situation. Questioning this in itself when a problem arises, consistently recognising the tendency to symptom-spot (and even transferring the skill throughout a team for example), is effortlessly valuable for an individual in the current working landscape.
‘We shall not cease from exploration.
And the end of all our exploring.
Will be to arrive where we started.
And know the place for the first time.’
– T.S. Eliot
If you want your people to really get to the bottom of business issues and arrive at tangible and impactful solutions, they also need to be curious. Nurture this by conveying permission to explore, analyse, play, test, make mistakes and try again. Monitor your reactions when things don’t go to plan. Curiosity, Communication and Consistency are three major C’s required to employ exploration throughout your organisation.
The fourth major C is Courage. For your people to have the courage to follow, the organisational mindset needs to shift to one that trusts that people will act with integrity and work positively for the organisation, rather than assuming that standing over people’s shoulders is required at all times.
- Are the behaviours I currently reward those that matter in today’s learning environment?
- How can I lead exploration by example?
- DO I inspire and nurture curiosity in others?
‘We must dare to think unthinkable thoughts, we must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world.’
– J William Fulbright
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