HOW CURIOUS ARE YOU?

HOW CURIOUS?

Every leader faces a period of time where their company or team is moving along smoothly, but everyone feels a bit flat and lacking enthusiasm. It is important that you create an environment where there are constant sparks of energy in the workplace and that is where curiosity becomes invaluable.

Before we delve into ways you can enhance curiosity, here are some example questions that you can ask yourself or your team every day:

  • What is the one service, product, project, idea or topic you are curious about today?
  • What is the one thing you thought about today that you want to know more about?
  • How does that work?
  • Why do we keep finding ourselves in the same position?
  • What would happen if we changed one thing?
  • How can we make it simpler?
  • If I were the end consumer, would I find it easy to use?
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Photo by Jonas Verstuyft on Unsplash

HOW CURIOUS ARE YOU?

The easiest way to influence your employees and team members, is to model the behaviours you desire. If you are always quick to answer or lack asking questions, you are showcasing a leader who lacks curiosity. For you to succeed as a leader you need to showcase your inner curiosity, as we all know we don’t have all the answers and solutions, as good questions will lead to even more questions.

People tend to shy away from asking questions due to a fear of being judged unintelligent, indecisive and somewhat incompetent. Many leaders fall into the trap of thinking they are supposed to know and provide all the answers. Recognising what we don’t know and cant do, sends a powerful message to those around us and may even motivate them to explore and learn more. Remember, there is always time for questions, as you may ask the one question that prevents the company or team from failing.

Try asking your employees and team members questions such as:

  • How can I make your job easier?
  • If you were leading the company, what is the one thing you would change?
  • Tell me one thing that will allow our consumers and clients to enjoy a greater experience?

The answers to these types of questions will inform you how to approach what changes are required and how to prioritise them. We need to find solutions to the gaps in our knowledge and also continue to identify what other questions still require answers.

Employees will be quick to read between the lines when you don’t know the answer. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge when you don’t know the answer, as this emphasizes the value of continuing to learn and explore.

People tend to like leaders more when they ask questions. It helps build trust, develops more meaningful relationships and leads to more creative outcomes. Asking questions about ideas leads to people thinking more deeply, approach it from another viewpoint and continue striving for an answer to the challenge puzzles we are faced with.

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Photo by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash

EXPLORE, BROADEN AND LEARN

Do you provide your employees and team members the time and opportunities to explore their interests, other roles or just play? Allowing them to broaden their horizons and perspectives can lead to greater productivity, efficiency and performance. As Gail Jackson once said, “It’s better to train and have them leave than not to train and have them stay.”

When a company faces challenging circumstances, they tend to focus on KPI’s, results and the dreaded HR restructure. They shrink the capacity and capability of the company to identify what the root of the cause is and what solutions will allow them to re-right the ship.

Stimulating a mindset where learning leads to performance outcomes, allows employees to be better problem-solvers, acquire more diverse skillsets and produce better work. Redefine your work environment by focusing on goals that improve competence, acquire new skills and develop mastery. Those who focus on learning versus performance goals tend to be more successful and have greater levels of motivation.

Questioning is only as beneficial as the support and reward that are provided. Develop intervention’s that stimulate and accelerate curiosity, such as invention sessions, creativity walls, internal TEDx type workshops or question of the day. Seeking diverse solutions and answers will allow your employees to interact and communicate more effectively. Be curious about your employees work and the way teams do their business.

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

HIRE THE CURIOUS ONES

Look for people who possess the intellectual curiosity to explore, collaborate with others and ask great questions. The curious ones tend to perform better than specialists who stick to themselves and block out the noise. If you want to unearth a real gem then hire people who possess both the empathy to listen thoughtfully and challenge themselves by looking at approaches, decisions or puzzles from a different persons perspective.

When interviewing potential employees it is valuable to discover whether they talk about the success and support of other people when discussing projects, whether successful or not. It is important to understand whether they enjoy collaborating and do they see the benefits of partnering with people, teams or other companies with projects in the future.

Does the potential employee:

  • ask questions about other areas of the company?
  • show fascination in learning news ideas, identifying what they don’t know and going beyond their comfort zone?
  • listen, read and watch topics and interests outside of their specialisation and industry?
  • seem a bit quirky, on another planet, awkward or different from the rest of the pack?
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Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

START WITH WHY

Each day ask a few ‘why’s’ about the work you and your team are doing. Think about how you will utilise the answers to enhance your work and challenge the status quo.

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Beyond The Comfort Zone Link
High Performers Cultivate More Powerful Traits Link
Are You Living Link
People Are Our Greatest Assets Link
It’s All About Trust Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link

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Beyond The Comfort Zone

BEYOND THE COMFORT ZONE

Beyond The Comfort Zone

BEYOND THE COMFORT ZONE

By Craig Johns

A comfort zone is a wonderful place, but nothing ever grows there.

Successful people have the unique ability to perform under high levels of pressure. Pressure comes from internal and external expectations, and as the stakes rise, fear grows. Being able to deal with fear and the uncomfortable feelings that are associated, you have to be better prepared to control your state of mind.

Why do we feel uncomfortable? That uncomfortable feeling comes from going into a place where you have never been before. You are making a change and disrupting the way your mind and body are used to doing something. It might be doing something for the first time or doing something you haven’t done for a while. It could be doing something you are used to, but the conditions or parameters have changed.

When you first experience a struggle and you feel uncomfortable, you start to second-guess yourself. Remember nothing in life comes easy and the greatest satisfaction is the result of overcoming something that takes us out of our comfort zone and takes us to a whole new level. You need a mindset of being comfortable with the uncomfortable. This is the price of progression.

“If you want something in life that you have never had, you will have to do something that you have never done.

Here are some ways to take you beyond the comfort zone:

SHOW UP

You will feel most uncomfortable when you take the first step and make a decision to start. That commitment to get off the start-line means the battle is half done. Most great ideas never get started, but once you have taken the first step, the real work begins. You made a choice, a commitment, and now you need to show up.

ONE STEP IN FRONT OF THE OTHER

Sometimes your actions don’t go to plan. You may not be seeing results, the progress is slow, and you are being told that it won’t work or self-doubt is kicking in. This is the point where everyone considers giving up and start asking themselves, “why am I doing this?”. At this point you have to be brave and be ready to answer honestly. Your purpose needs to be crystal clear, because this is when the true battle begins and it is the time to shine.

FAKE IT WHILE YOU MAKE IT

Fear kills more dreams than failure, so you have to control the controllable’s and brainwash yourself with lots of positive affirmations and thoughts. Pretend to be confident and visualize how it will look. Preparation and belief are your best friends.

EMBRACE ‘THE SUCK’

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Deal with the adversity, the challenge, the pain, or the uncomfortable feeling by welcoming it with open arms. Make it your friend, as ‘the suck’ is the reason that is going to make you better. You are building your mental and physical toughness, which leads to greater levels of resilience.

SURROUND YOURSELF

Create a team and environment that supports the challenge. An environment that is positive and provides you with the feedback required to deal with the positive and negative thoughts, and perceived obstacles to achieve your goal.

PUSHING THE ENVELOPE

To continually extend the boundaries of what you thought was possible, you need to understand how you overcome uncomfortable experiences in the past. Use your understandings to build your confidence. Start to notice the patterns of your thoughts and record them. Record the characteristics of your fears, such as when does it appear, where does your mind wander, how do you cope with it and how you construct your intentions to deal with it. Create an internal culture of reveling in achievement and understanding how you deal with situations.

REPETITION

Your mind and body are comfortable with familiarity. The more you perform in an uncomfortable state, the more confidence you will develop. It is a mindset you have to develop, so you can allow your thoughts and emotions to adapt and grow.

TAKE ACTION

What rituals and behaviors can you create, so that each day you feel more comfortable with the uncomfortable? Once you have developed these actions, you need to be patient and be prepared for the long-game, as it will take some to become an automatic part of your life. Over time you will feel more confident, empowered and prepared to face the uncomfortable more often. The result of this process is a life of growth, excitement and success.

Are you ready to go beyond the comfort zone?

DOWNLOAD

To learn more about proactively planning your recovery and scheduling your energy, please DOWNLOAD the Break the CEO Code Whitepaper

READ MORE ARTICLES

High Performers Cultivate More Powerful Traits Link
Rockstar of Efficiency Link
Are You Living Link
People Are Our Greatest Assets Link
It’s All About Trust Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link

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High performers Cultivate more powerful traits

HIGH PERFORMERS CULTIVATE MORE POWERFUL TRAITS

POWERFUL TRAITS

By Craig Johns

It doesn’t matter what industry, the high performers are far more effective at cultivating more powerful traits. We touch on eight of those highly effective traits that unleash their potential and rise above the rest.

MORE WITH LESS

High performers look to consolidate and improve the efficiency by focusing on increasing the ‘outputs that matter’. They reduce products, services and other outputs that don’t matter and focus on making the main thing, the main thing.

Being able to see four or five steps ahead, understanding what the needle-moving requirements are that will get them there, and determining what the distractions are that they need to avoid, allows a high performer to always be in control of their destiny. They are also effective at identifying the must-have skills needed to accomplish those steps, and then will work obsessively to develop them.

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Photo by MontyLov on Unsplash

PROACTIVE LISTENERS & OBSERVERS

To perform at your best you need to be a proactive listener and observer. If done effectively you can extract up to three to five times more information than the normal person.

Improving your listening and observation skills requires the discipline to reduce distractions and be proactive in focusing your attention. Most people aren’t aware or don’t understand how unobservant they are.

Keep phones and other attention seeking distractions out of meetings, conversations and other communication tasks. Take notes during conferences and meetings, and keep a journal to record your activities and reflections. Make eye contact during interactions with others and practice active listening skills.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

BE COURAGEOUS

During times of hardship, taking a large risk, facing fear, dealing with the unknown or coping with judgment, high performers speak up for themselves. They share their truth and also speak up for others more often.

High performers honor the struggle, as they know that struggling is a natural part of the process when dealing with challenges. They can handle the struggle, because they expect it. They show up and appreciate the hard times and don’t complain during the process.

Rather than focusing on changing the world, decide on whom you’re doing it for and then work hard for them. Be prepared to serve for someone who needs help and then develop the kind of character that will help them deserve the outcome they desire. 

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Photo by Zeyn Afuang on Unsplash

Fail Fast

High Performers view themselves as imperfect, and allow for mistakes and subsequent learning. They embrace failing, tend to fail fast, and use failure as a learning opportunity.

Under pressure they have the ability to assess their actions differently than the average person. They are able to let go quicker, whereas low-achievers tend to fall into a ‘broken record’ of embarrassment, guilt and shame.

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Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Raise necessity

Do you know what your purpose or what your underlying reason why is? Determine ‘why’ it is important to succeed every single day. Be bold, put yourself out there, and place your identity on the line.

A deep sense of identity, with performing with excellence, is a necessity for high performers. They will bring their focus back through raising the necessity so they enter with a high level of intention, so they perform with excellence. They will ask themselves “who needs me to be on my A-Game right now?”, whether it is family, team, peers, customers or end users. How often do you prime your mental ability to perform an activity well?

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Fully Commit & Seek Clarity

Most people avoid expressing all their thoughts and feelings when dealing with situations of high pressure. This can lead to unnecessary miscommunication and tension as the recipient feels they have heard all that was meant to be said, and responds accordingly.

A high performer seeks clarity more often as they want to understand why. The average person will jump to judgment based on only 5% of the available information, and therefore can easily mis-read the tone of an email or conversation. These judgments can truly harm us, especially in the digital age, where we can be quick to read and respond with emotion.

It is valuable to grasp what the intention is, what is important and what matters? By using self-reflection, evaluation, and making changes more often, you can sift out distractions and refocus on what is important.

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Photo by Daniil Kuželev on Unsplash

Develop Influence

You learn more about yourself when you teach others. Through teaching people how to think and challenging them to grow, you change their lives. When you impact someone else’s thoughts, in a positive way, you have influence. Remember to tell them to be their best.

The more comfortable someone is around you, the more likely you are to be able to influence them. Be relaxed and create rapport with the person you are trying to influence, as you are more likely to persuade them if they like and trust you. Listen to the people you are trying to influence, ask the right questions, be aware of their body language and be patient.

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Generate More Energy

If you want to perform at your best you need to develop the ability to switch off, recharge and maximize your ‘transitions’. Transitions are the times in your day when you switch from one task to another, such as the time in between meetings, driving to and from work, grabbing a coffee and eating lunch.

High performers will generate energy during the day, rather than losing it. Try giving your mind and body a break every 45-60 minutes. Where possible, plan and schedule chunks of time to recharge. Take a quick break, close your eyes, or meditate as the short psychological break can release tension and focus, so you are primed for the next activity.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

How are you going to cultivate more powerful traits in your life and remove the traits that are less productive and supportive of a happier life?

DOWNLOAD

To learn more about proactively planning your recovery and scheduling your energy, please DOWNLOAD the Break the CEO Code Whitepaper

READ MORE ARTICLES

Are You Living Link
People Are Our Greatest Assets Link
It’s All About Trust Link
Have We Got The Hiring Process Totally Wrong? Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link

LEARN MORE

active CEO COACHING
active CEO CORPORATE
active CEO PODCAST
Craig Johns SPEAKER
Craig Johns BLOG
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