As Arizona temperatures rise, it is a great season for reading, webinars, and conferences in cooler climates. I have recently been attending a couple virtual professional development summits. Each book, webinar, or seminar challenges me to take some action as I move forward in my work, and many provide great inspiration and encouragement. One theme that I heard repeatedly was about being curious. Curiosity opens your eyes to new possibilities, clears up inaccurate judgment, and communicates a positive message to the listener. As leaders, it is so easy to tell versus ask. When you consider the culture of telling, what is the message conveyed to those supporting your work? How does telling employees empower them? How do employees grow in a culture of telling? What happens to innovation when employees are always told what to do and how to do it? There are so many benefits of being curious, here are ten to consider;

  • New possibilities surface
  • A better understanding of a situation is uncovered, more facts and less fiction
  • A chance to really get acquainted with others, what motivates and inspires them
  • Others feel listened to, understood and valued
  • Employees are empowered to share their thoughts and ideas
  • Employees grow from working out ideas and solving their own work problems
  • Learning what customers really want
  • Self-development, learning what drives you toward success, your motivators, your de-motivators, what gives you stress, what relaxes and rejuvenates you
  • Learn what engages and disengages your team
  • Realize greater success in introducing and implementing change by being able to learn objections and misunderstandings early on and be able to clarify the facts and overcome the objections.

As you plan your summer, consider picking up a book, attending a webinar, or going to a seminar. What are you curious about? Think about ways you can be more curious with your employees, your peers, your customers, and your family, and notice what you learn when you ask questions really wanting to learn and understand