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The importance of being a curious leader

Every day my clients amaze and impress me.

Each one of them is a leader who dares to be brave, perseveres during challenging times, and demonstrates so much resilience.

They are not afraid to try a new approach or test a new leadership tool that we learn together.

This week, one of my clients shared a success story that brought all 12 people in the training session to tears…including yours truly!!!

She really exemplified a brave and adaptable leader.

You see, her “homework” was to stay really curious with her team.

Sometimes as leaders we judge peopleSometimes as leaders we judge people.

We make up stories in our minds about why their work isn’t good enough or why they aren’t meeting our expectations.

But this leader, let’s call her Rachel, did the opposite.

She took her homework very seriously.

She stayed curious with her team, and I’ll share the result with you.

Rachel had a team member who was not meeting her expectations. She admitted that this was frustrating for her.

She assigned this person a project.

It was not done.

He missed her deadlines.

He was very behind.

So, practicing her coaching and curiosity skills, Rachel asked this person what was holding them back and how she could help.

To her surprise, this person disclosed to Rachael that he has a traumatic brain injury. The reason he did not complete this task was not that he was lazy, uncommitted, or untrustworthy.

The reality is that this person gets massive headaches when staring at a bright screen for too long.

Wow! This response was not what Rachel was expecting!

One thing that I have learned after coaching people for over a decade is that you just never know what challenges other people are facing.

Now, because Rachel stayed curious, she had some very important information.

This information allowed her to accommodate her team member.

These accommodations were not even difficult for Rachel to implement, and she was happy to do so.

So let me ask you this question.

What would the world be like if we all were less judgemental of others and instead were committed to staying curious in our relationships?

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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