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Leading With Curiosity

by David Brock on June 3rd, 2022

Curiosity is one of the most critical skills any seller can have. It’s even more important for leaders. As leaders, there’s so much we can learn, so much we can do in helping drive the performance of our teams, so much in driving our success with customers.

Curiosity drives leaders to observe, to watch what’s happening. It drives them to ask questions–not with an agenda, but to learn and understand. Curiosity helps leaders and their people rethink what they are doing, figuring out what works, how to improve, where things might be done differently.

In most leadership roles, there are no easy, obvious, or formulaic answers. We deal with the complex interactions, motivations, aspirations, strengths/weaknesses, hopes/dreams of very diverse individuals. Figuring these out, figuring out what drives each of them, how to engage them in driving their own learning, growth, and improvement requires us to be curious.

Curiosity is fundamental to innovating and improving–whether looking at our own organizations or looking at what we are doing with customers.

Genuine curiosity, that focused on deep learning and understanding, goes hand in hand with being interested. Whether it’s interest in an individual, interest in the organization, interest in our customers. This interest creates a connection with others, it demonstrates caring and helps build trust and engagement.

Too often, we find leaders that are incurious. They may believe they know everything or have all the answers. Any questions they have are less focused on learning, but have an underlying agenda. The incurious are not interested growth and improvement. They aren’t, fundamentally, interested in others, how they feel, what drives them.

We don’t, often, think of the linkage between genuine curiosity and empathy. But they are tightly connected.

As we look to filling any leadership role in our organizations, as we look at any selling role in the organization, curiosity is a critical skill. With that, we can always figure things out, we can grow ourselves and our organization, we can demonstrate our interest and caring. We can engage each other more genuinely and more deeply.

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