There are lessons to be learned in everything your team does. Look for learning opportunities in post-project reviews, customer meetings, conflicts with other departments, changes in priorities, miscommunications, and mistakes. Get curious about these situations. This will also set a positive example for your team and plant the seeds of curiosity in them.

Try these two strategies to cultivate your curiosity.  

Identify patterns
Look for patterns or themes amongst people, problems, and situations. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the underlying dynamics that are the root causes for the way people perform, the reason problems exist, and the way situations play out. This also helps create new neural pathways to keep our brains growing and active. 

Create learning-based goals. 
Although achieving short-term goals is important, deepening your learning yields sustained achievement of goals. It’s the equivalent of giving someone a fish to eat versus teaching someone how to fish.  

In fact, in a study published in the Academy Management Executive, researchers used a business simulator to test the effects of learning goals for sales professionals. According to their results, “Performance was highest for individuals with a specific high learning goal. The market share achieved by those with a learning goal was almost twice as high as those with a performance outcome goal.” This is not an “either-or” proposition. Instead, set specific performance goals and set specific learning goals.

Watch for our new book, Healthy Leadership: How to Lead so Everyone Thrives.