Curiosity Made the Difference
Views of a CEO
- by Mike Roe
It’s amazing what you can learn about your business and your own leadership if you listen closely enough….
But that’s only part of the equation. Firstly you have to be curious enough to ask the right kind of questions that create the conversation, curious enough to listen for long enough and curious enough to ask the follow up questions to elicit the kind of response that we are often blind to and sometimes would prefer to be blind to. It’s far easier as a leader with a complex, changing, and challenging environment to adopt a “here’s the plan just execute” approach.
Cognitively I have always known that to truly engage my team required time, patience, great questions, respect for difference and crucially the ability to be challenged. But who really relishes the prospect of being challenged on their own well thought out strategy, their own approach that has always worked in the past, their world view that is clearly right and put bluntly we haven’t really got the time to debate this, lets just get on before we miss the moment!
As a previous Police Commander there were clearly times when the command and control type of approach was appropriate. But then, as now, as CEO of a company that helps organisations create High Performance Workplaces, that approach is not the one that will generally create an aligned, energised, and highly performing team.
My own road to Damascus moment came during my ILM coaching course when I was introduced to a world of far more powerful questioning. Questions that not only helped me become a far more effective leader, but enabled me to challenge and support my team in a far more empowering way and thereby significantly improve the performance we were striving for.
The day I got curious and embraced 6 little words, “what would you suggest we do” started me on the road as a much more effective leader.
My one piece of advise to all of you would be to ask the same question of your team…