Do you find yourself feeling blocked at times with seemingly no way forward? Or perhaps you find you are repeating old patterns that you didn’t realize were keeping you in neutral? Recently, like some of my clients, I found myself stuck in how I was seeing my business situation…. I couldn’t see anything but a block to what I wanted. Then, as I started becoming curious, working the issue from different perspectives, I realized, “Wow, I am not stuck, my thinking is stuck!” That was the insight I needed to start to think differently, attack the problem from a new perspective. The result? I now am energized, focused, and making changes that will get me to the outcome I want.
What’s interesting to me is how easy it was for me to define the problem from only one angle and how that approach kept me feeling less engaged, less creative, and less satisfied. Stasis comes from the root work stagnation which is a state or condition marked by lack of flow, movement, or development (according to Websters on line). I see this with leaders and teams in the work I do coaching them for improved performance. The cause of being stuck can vary and it is helpful to figure out how it is manifesting in you, your team, your organization. With teams, it is easy for it to permeate attitudes, culture and most interactions. As the leader, part of your job is to steward the team and organization to a healthier more vibrant state of being.
One lever to experiment with is curiosity. Philosopher Thomas Hobbes called it “the lust of the mind.” and in today’s hectic environment and ever changing business context, leaders and teams must spend more time being curious.
- How often are you spending time solving problems and answering questions versus engaging in questions and exploration?
- How often does your team come together to think and question new trends, issues and ideas?
- What’s your ability to be curious and where if you applied it would bring new thinking?
Start with Questions
- Leaders and teams can start by asking more questions
- Take different perspectives both on how you are defining the problem and how you are thinking about solutions
- Cultivate time on your calendar to think, read and explore ideas with some of that time spent on things outside your industry and knowledge areas.