Curiosity applies to everything leaders do.
Apart from curiosity, leaders…
- Feel defensive.
- Need obedient minions.
- Seldom connect.
- Tend to manipulate.
Smart people practice curiosity. Everyone else gets dumb and dumber.
The five faces of curiosity
#1. Inward-facing curiosity:
- Who am I?
- What do I love doing?
- When am I at my best?
- What contributions have I made?
- What contributions most energize me?
- What happens to people when I show up?
- What’s the energy level of people after they interact with me?
#2. People-facing curiosity:
Ask all the inward-facing questions with a people-facing perspective. For example, “What’s the energy level of people after you interact with them?”
- I notice you’re good at…. How did you get good at that? (Add the following question.)
- How might I get better at that?
#3. Problem-facing curiosity:
- What issues keep returning?
- What conversations are you repeatedly having?
- What’s frustrating?
- What do repeated frustrations say about you? Others?
- Five whys.
- If you explained this challenge to a novice, what would you say?
- What’s making things hard?
#4. Solution-facing curiosity:
- What have you tried?
- What would you try if you were new here?
- What do you know?
- What’s the question?
- If you did know, what would you do?
- Who might know?
- What advice would you give me if our roles were reversed?
#5. Progress-facing curiosity:
- What do you need to stop doing?
- What’s distracting you from doing what’s important?
- What’s next?
- Where would you like to be at the end of the week? What’s the first step to getting there?
- What do your really want?
- Create a gap between what people know and what they need to do.
- Honor question askers.
- Create more than one solution to the same problem.
- Ask, “What if?”
- Ask, “What else?”
“The real cause of problems is solutions.” Eric Sevareid
What are some of your favorite questions?