Curiosity creates a clever cat and can make your team smarter too!

January 14, 2020 8:12 am

Thinking together’ is our only hope to address complex science, social and even business challenges. Many of the challenges we face these days are too hard for a single person or even a group of liked minded people to solve. Finding solutions means we will have to integrate and reconcile utilising diverse perspectives, interpretations of facts and even long-held beliefs and values. 

In this article, Lisa Feldman Barrett shares a few of the learnings from her two-year collaboration with four of her colleagues to tackle a scientific question that has been contentious for years. 

One of the ground rules they followed, ‘Be Curious’, can be difficult. However, similar to their experience, I have found curiosity an effective antidote for defensiveness. I have also seen curiosity reduce competitiveness and passivity for leaders I have coached. For me, even in those situations where I have only ‘half-heartily’ explored a view that conflicted with my own – the more I learned – the more curious I became – and ultimately my need to understand overwhelmed my need to be right. 

Curiosity is one of the critical elements of Learning Quest’s Reverse Vortex™ leadership model. Helping leaders tap into their curiosity has become a ‘go-to’ tool for increasing innovation as well as addressing ‘everyday-type conflicts’.  

Cultivating a culture of curiosity has helped leadership and project teams build a broader base of information, enabling them to detect and mitigate risks and uncover possibilities hidden within challenges.   

While it might be initially challenging to follow a trail we did not chart ourselves, if allowed to take its course, curiosity ultimately becomes a catalyst for pleasant surprises.  

Ask us about TeamFAST™, our team assessment and coaching program, to learn techniques for exploring and reconciling contrasting perspectives, understanding how to cultivate a Curiosity Mindset for your team members and build innovation in your business. 

Photo credit: Ramiz Dedakovic on Unsplash

PS – to all my cat-loving friends and colleagues – Note: I have paid my cat tax!

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