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Cultivating Curiosity: How curiosity can help us as leaders

Curiosity is one of the core qualities of being a Heart Centred Leader. It can help us to be less judgemental, remain flexible, be open to new possibilities and bring a playfulness to our work.

What is curiosity in leadership?

We are all inherently curious, anyone who has spent time with young children will know exactly what we mean! Children are excited by everything new and are deeply driven to understand how things work, why they work, and what will happen next.

Every time you ask a question, open Google or try something new you’re being curious. It’s a skill that we all have within us, that you probably already use on a daily basis. When we talk about becoming curious leaders it’s about using this skill that we already have and applying it to our leadership.

We can use this curiosity to self-reflect, asking questions about ourselves and we can be curious about other people. Having a genuine curiosity towards other people is such a valuable skill in leadership, especially when people think differently to us or have a different perspective. As humans we’re judging machines, curiosity can help us to suspend that judgement and be really open about other people and where they are coming from.

What are key skills for curious leaders?

If you’re looking to cultivate more curiosity within your leadership these skills can be a great place to start. You are likely to already be doing some of them on one level or another, and you can start practicing them any time, anywhere. Like anything, these skills will work best when they are practiced again and again until they become more familiar and part of your regular thinking.

Being flexible. It can sound easy but it can be a tricky skill to put into practice! Being flexible requires us to come into conversations without our own expectations, and to be completely open to change. When we’re flexible we can bring a genuine curiosity to others, building on what they are saying.

Reframing limiting beliefs. Reframing limiting beliefs is a skill that is great to work through with a professional as they can help you to understand the root of the belief. But if you want to get started you can bring a curiosity to your thoughts and actions, take some time to reflect every-day and see if you can notice where your limiting beliefs are and the stories they are telling you.

Beginner's mind. If you have practised meditation you might already be aware of the beginner's mind. It’s about seeing things as if you’re looking through the eyes of a beginner. A great way to start practising this is to become aware of what your expectations are. You could ask yourself, “How do I expect this to go? What would I do differently if I didn’t have any expectations?”

Analysing failures. Curious leaders love it when things go wrong. It’s an opportunity to learn, understand more and grow. Next time you find yourself facing something that hasn’t gone to plan, try to bring a curiosity to the situation and see what you could learn from it.

We hope this blog post has been useful. If you've enjoyed this one you might also enjoy Daily Gratitude Practice – A personal perspective and ‘how to’ guide…

Further reading on developing curiosity:


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