Leadership Series – Learning Through Curiosity

Jan 19, 2022 | CPA Blog |

Knowledge is power, right?  Especially in the accounting profession. But in order to be a good leader you have to begin noticing when you are closed off to the idea that you don’t know, or could be wrong about something or someone.  It might be humbling, but it can also be inspiring as well, especially for those around you.

The ability to lead others, whether it’s an employee, a client, or a child, includes being open to learning and not being afraid of what others will think if you admit that you don’t know the answer.  More importantly though, the skill of learning through curiosity is less about your general knowledge and more about being committed to understanding and knowing yourself before anything else.

The key to being a better leader is about self-awareness.  It’s also about being open, curious, and committed to learning, versus being defensive, closed and committed to being right.  The truth is that being “right” doesn’t cause drama, but wanting, proving, and fighting to be “right” does.

Whether your leadership role is at work or at home, it’s important to recognize that even though good leaders get defensive like everyone else, they also regularly interrupt this natural reactivity by pausing to breathe, accept, and shift.  They recognize when they’re closed off; when they’re not being open and curious.

The best way to do this is to pay attention:

  • How are you feeling at this moment?  Are you frustrated, bored, or overwhelmed?
  • What do you typically do when you feel this way?  Do you distract yourself with work, social media, or food/alcohol?
  • Are you blaming situations or other people? (see Leadership Series – Taking 100% Responsibility)

Another benefit of being curious is that when you explore and satisfy your curiosity, your brain floods with dopamine, the feel good hormone that makes you feel happier.  This reward mechanism increases the likelihood that you’ll try and satisfy your curiosity again in the future.

In order to be a better leader, you need to pay more attention to yourself first and foremost.  When you practice curiosity more often, that’s when you can have the greatest impact on others.  When you learn through curiosity, everyone benefits.  

Let’s be honest – the world needs better leaders at work and at home.  Are you ready to become a better leader?


Source – “The 15 Commitments Of Conscious Leadership”