Welcome to Week 16 of the Authenticity@Work Leadership Tool-kit! My intention for this series is to share a quick tool each week to help you lead with more authenticity, adaptability and inspiration so we can together create workplaces where we bring the best of ourselves and inspire others. So grab a journal and an accountability partner to make these practices even more powerful for you!
In last week’s post we discussed how to use your whole body leadership to better lead yourself and others. Did you commit to a daily practice of connection and gratitude for your body?
Curiosity is essential to leadership today. Curiosity opens the door to creativity (we discover new possibilities), to connection (we open ourselves up to learning something new about a person), to compassion (we learn what it’s like to be in another person’s shoes), and to better decision making (we question our assumptions and seek out others’ perspectives).
Staying curious is essential to authenticity. We discover ourselves in both our strengths and in our weaknesses. We find ourselves in what we’re experiencing now—whether it is energizing us or withering us. We also find ourselves in our worst fears and the coping mechanisms we create to deal with those fears just as much as we find ourselves in our most courageous and inspired moments. The reality is that we won’t truly lead effectively unless we stay curious—in every present moment, open to learning something new, because things around us are in a constant state of flux.
I call my curious part the Inner Fool. My inner fool constantly reminds me not to take myself so seriously. You see, the point at which we take ourselves too seriously is the very moment we lose our wonder and curiosity.
If we are naturally curious as children, who killed our curiosity? Here are the usual suspects in the forms of assumptions we make.
Assumption #1: I already know the answer – We were generally taught that there is only one right answer (a myth in most of life’s circumstances).
Assumption #2: It’s good to ask smart questions – By not impressing others with smart questions, you can create a space for different perspectives to be openly discussed. Reality: Curious people ask short, dumb questions that invite reflection and dialogue.
Assumption #3: I already know what you mean – We assume we know what others are saying. It stops us from actually listening deeply.
This Week’s Tool:
Bring your inner curious one to your next meeting. Notice what happens. Notice what’s different. What is the impact on you? What is the impact on others?