As a leader, the way you approach meaningful conversations can seriously impact the outcomes and success of your team. By approaching conversations with curiosity and intention, you can foster deeper connections, better understand the needs and perspectives of your team, and drive progress toward your goals.
But what do we mean by “curiosity” and “intention”?
Curiosity is all about openness to new information and a desire to learn. In conversation, it’s about asking questions that get to the heart of things and really listening to what the other person has to say. It’s about being present in the moment and avoiding jumping to conclusions or making assumptions.
Intention, on the other hand, is about having a clear purpose or goal in mind. Maybe you want to get to know your team members better, or maybe you want to discuss a specific problem or challenge. Whatever it is, having a clear intention helps guide the conversation in a meaningful direction.
So, how can you approach any conversation as a leader with both curiosity and intention? Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Ask open-ended questions: These are the kinds of questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” They require the other person to share more about themselves and their thoughts.
- Listen actively: It’s not enough just to hear what the other person is saying. Show that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say by nodding, making eye contact, and responding with thoughtful comments.
- Avoid assumptions: It’s easy to jump to conclusions or make assumptions about someone based on limited information. Instead, approach conversations with an open mind and let the other person’s words and actions speak for themselves.
- Set an agenda: If you have a specific topic or question in mind, it can be helpful to let the other person know upfront. This helps to ensure that both parties are on the same page and that the conversation has a clear direction.
By approaching conversations as a leader with both curiosity and intention, you’ll be able to build stronger relationships with your team, better understand their needs and perspectives. So take a moment to consider your approach and see the difference it can make.