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Leadership

Curiosity - It Just May Be the Cure We Need

What is curiosity? How do we cultivate it in ourselves and the teams we lead? In what ways can curiosity specifically bring healing?

Curiosity

Dr. Cassie Rhodes states, “What quality or characteristic might save the world in the end? I would suggest curiosity.” Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in the spirit of Curious George, I believe it will be a vital source of all things for healthy and vibrant leadership in the future. It may just be the cure our teams, people, and organizations need to help heal us.

Embedded in the Latin roots of curiosity is the word “cura,” meaning care, cure, and healing. When we journey towards and into the unknown fueled by a sense of exploration, wonder, and fascination, we tap into a fundamental piece of what it means to be human, thereby allowing that venture to be therapeutic, healing, and transformative. It’s even been said that “old age begins when curiosity ends.” So, let’s stay young and vibrant by being curious!

What is curiosity? How do we cultivate it in ourselves and the teams we lead? In what ways can curiosity specifically bring healing? Answering these questions is what I want to focus on in this article.

Curiosity is the desire and aptitude to know more; it’s about traveling into the unknown. It’s fueled by a drive to explore, expand, learn, discover, and wonder. We could say that the opposite of curiosity is conformity - often energized by fear, assumptions, and biases. Curious people are inquisitive and ask many questions, such as: Why? What if? Could we? Could you share more? What might we be missing? The questions are endless, but central to all of these questions is about seeing things with fresh eyes and perspective - a quest into the surprising beauty of the unknown. Essential to this task is a humble and courageous attitude, recognizing that we could be wrong about some things or most things, or at the very least, limited in our knowledge. It’s about being open to a space where we can say, “I never thought of it that way.”

In what ways could curiosity be the cure we all need?

Recently, I was introduced to the question, “Can there be an us without a them?” It’s a powerful question, especially in our age of political, religious, and social divide. The “them” varies from context to context; the “them” could be those “progressive liberals,” “fundamental conservatives,” “that team member who went behind my back,” “my annoying neighbor across the street,” and so on. People want to be understood, and no one is beyond that understanding. They want to be seen, heard, and known, which requires that others see, hear, and know them. What leads that pursuit is curiosity - a genuine desire to “seek and find” what is essential and crucial to truly understanding that person or group we are engaging or hope to engage with.

While we may not agree with nor appreciate what we learn or discover from “them,” we do need to take that step to seek understanding. We are all humans, and we truly need to foster a way to communicate genuinely and openly with each other, no matter how vast the divide may be. Curiosity brings healing by helping us challenge our assumptions and biases, overcome our fears, face uncertainty, cultivate collaboration and dialogue, activate creativity, and spark adventure, all of which help deepen and strengthen our connections. There are many resources available to help us navigate the cultivation of curiosity. Still, I recommend Cracking the Curiosity Code by Diane Hamilton and Seek - How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World by Scott Shigeoka. 

As you begin this new year, what are ways to elevate the value and practice of, using the words of Albert Einstein, “holy curiosity” in your leadership and with your team? What new questions will you start asking and encouraging your team to ask? How will you create safe spaces for you and your team to go down “the rabbit hole” of uncertainty and the unknown together? What kind of learning opportunities that stretch people will you promote? Will you open yourself to diversity of thought and opinions, and if so, how?

If there is any way that I can help you and your team develop curiosity as part of your culture, let’s get in touch. If you are curious about how Chemistry Staffing can help with your staffing and strategic needs, please contact me, and let’s talk.

Dr. Allan Love

Dr. Allan Love

Allan has been involved in church ministry for the past 25 years in a variety of roles and settings: church planter, Pastor of Disciple Making and Adult Ministries, Executive Pastor and Coach/Consultant. Allan has experienced many transitions in ministry from a variety of different perspectives. He understands that as painful and stressful transitions can be, they have the potential to transform you more than most things can! Allan, along with his wife of 33 years, Gloria, young adult daughter, and Luna (family Lhasa Apso), lives in Jacksonville, Florida. His son serves as a pastor in Virginia Beach with his wife and daughter. Allan and his family are originally from Canada, where he earned his Master’s in Biblical Studies (Regent College) and Doctorate in Missional Leadership (Carey). Additionally, he is certified as an MBTI, CPI 260 and StratOp Practitioner, and as a Church Unique and God Dreams Navigator. He is an avid runner who loves to hang out with family and friends and is committed to serving pastors and local churches to help them to live out their unique calling.

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