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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – Curiosity to fuel adaptation, innovation and collaboration – The future of leadership

To lead an organisation and create a culture open to change, innovation and creativity, curiosity is key. The future of leadership requires us now, more than ever, to adapt, innovate and collaborate, and I reckon curiosity deserves some attention.

Curiosity is a skill and also a characteristic – a motivating desire for more information. It’s the engine that drives learning, innovation and achievement. Being curious requires us to ask questions of ourselves, situations and others. This helps us grow and be what I call ‘in flow’.

Ask to know

Know to grow

Grow to be in flow

– Renee Giarrusso

 

Curiosity is a skill and also a characteristic – a motivating desire for more information. Click To Tweet

 

Dr Daniel Berlyne was a pioneer in curiosity research in the ’60s. His work in the field of experimental and exploratory psychology has served as the foundational research for many scientists who have followed. He stated that curiosity is innate to our being, not unlike food and water. 

He also concluded that it is instigated by three key sources:

  • novelty – that which is new or unknown to us
  • ambiguity – that which is confusing to us
  • complexity – partially known to us and where we seek to know more

All these sources of curiosity surround us – it’s up to us to raise our emotional intelligence, be aware of these, and decide on what to do next. 

Four keys to curiosity 

One – Have an open mind

This takes discipline, and the more open you are, the more likely you will be to receive new information and ideas that can help you to continue to be curious.

Avoid closing yourself or others off and stretch out of your safe zone – anything outside of your comfort zone is growth. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and stay present when listening. I ask myself ‘What can I learn from this person?’ – this opens up my mind to receive and not discount the ideas or opinions of others.

Two – Ask questions

Asking questions helps you become a more effective communicator, as well as build stronger relationships and leadership capabilities. Asking questions with intention is a great way to understand, seek information and explore your curiosity in the process. 

Why do we often forget to question ourselves and the things we do and think? 

Whether you are questioning another person, yourself or a situation, asking open questions is key. This is where the answer can’t be yes or no, and it is a great way to elicit information and get the other person talking. After choosing open questions, drill down with closed questions, which can be answered with yes or no.

A key tip to asking open questions is to add ‘tell me about’ to the start of your questions – this will turn them into an open question. 

When we ask curious, open questions, we need to be open to not knowing the answer, and not assume or judge. Our intention should be to focus on learning and understanding more.

Curious questions 

  • What do I/you think of this idea?
  • How could this work?
  • Why do I/you think this idea could work?
  • What could go right and wrong?
  • What would I/you do if there were no limitations and unlimited time and resources?
  • What is a great question I could ask you right now?

Flipping statements into questions

When we think about something, we articulate it in our minds as either a statement or a question. For example, flipping a statement such as ‘What that team did was great’ to ‘I wonder how that team achieved that?’ will change your energy and provoke questioning and conversations. It changes a one-dimensional thought to a two-dimensional question. Take the time to observe the statements you think or write, such as in an email, and flip these into questions.

Three – Listen and be present

Listening is one of the most challenging skills to master – communication isn’t just about what you say; it is 50% speaking and 50% listening. The research found that only 2% of leaders have ever received any training on how to listen, and most people struggle to listen and not just ‘hear’.

As human beings, we aren’t wired to listen, although it is one of the first things we learn in our mother’s womb. We think at more than 400 words a minute and speak at 150, so it’s no wonder our minds wander when we should be listening.

To be truly curious, we need to listen to:

  • ourselves both logically and intuitively
  • the responses of others, without bias or judgement
  • situations that present themselves
  • thoughts, feedback and feelings through all our senses

Four – Be interested

Reframe ‘boring’ situations and people to ‘interesting’. A simple reframe can change your energy, attitude and ability to be curious. We can learn much from others if we have an open mind and question things.

Sometimes the simple tasks and decisions are carried out in autopilot. Often, we become time-poor and miss opportunities.

When the stakes are high, and the pressure is on, it can be difficult for leaders, to pause before acting, take a step back and reflect on why they are doing what they are doing.

Sometimes questioning our actions on the bigger things can be hampered by our inaction on questioning the smaller things.

Take the time to build your curiosity muscle and create the space to make it part of your team and organisational culture.

I’d love to hear what you do to instil curiosity?

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't working with her clients? She's doing this.

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on Facebook, Instagram, IGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – R U OK with self-compassion?

R U OK with your self-expression

Thursday the 10th September is R U Ok Day, a day to remind everyone that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” As we all face the ups and downs of life, I reckon it's a good day to stop and practice self-compassion in conjunction with compassion for others.

Self-compassion opens the door to acceptance and is about directing love and compassion at yourself and those around you. To be receptive and accept the gifts we face, we need to open the door and invite self-compassion in. Kristen Neff, a researcher of self-compassion, highlights its many benefits, including a decrease in anxiety, stress and depression, and an increase in life satisfaction, resilience and overall happiness.

As we know, our thoughts dictate our feelings and therefore, what we do or don’t act on.

Negative self-talk is the blocker to self-compassion and can include:

  • awfulising – assuming the worst, which can spiral into negative thinking
  • filtering – seeing only the negative aspects when you face a challenge, although positive ones exist in parallel
  • personalising – blaming yourself when faced with a challenge

“The thoughts you think today will determine the results you see tomorrow.” – Robin Sharma

We need to be kind to ourselves and catch ourselves out on the negative self-talk.

5 Key Tips On Being Kind To Ourselves:

  1. Catch your critic and name it – Stop and name the thought, then refer to it by name. One of my clients attributed her negative talk to not being good enough or being too ‘needy Ned’. This made her laugh whenever she noticed these thoughts – that alone changed the direction of her future conversations.
  2. Talk to yourself like a friend – We can often be harsher on ourselves than we would ever dream of being with those we love. Be light, kind and above all, respectful.
  3. Practice gratitude – We all have so much we can be grateful for, being in nature, our health or the fact we have caring people in our lives. Gratitude can be a feeling, an action or a mindset. Journaling three positives each day and reflecting on them the next morning is a great way to start. Bringing gratitude into the workplace culture is a great way to share, show compassion, amplify strengths and appreciation in each other.
  4. Flip your beliefs – Usually, we frame whatever we tell ourselves as beliefs, which either do or do not serve us. For instance, ‘I will never get through this challenge’ could be flipped to “What is the opportunity in this situation?” Think about what limiting beliefs you could let go of, to be kinder to yourself.
  5. Reframe keywords – Reframing “I’m nervous and challenged” to “I’m excited about this opportunity” can change your energy, mindset and awareness to what can be, rather than what can’t be. Words are powerful, and we all have the choice and capability to change them.

Self-awareness doesn't prevent you from making mistakes; it allows you to grow from them instead. We need to take the time to reflect, digest our thoughts and neutralise negative self-talk in order to be kinder to ourselves.

When we have thoughts about a challenge or success that serve us, we can then ‘feel’ into them. An example: feeling empowered when we have made it through a hard time – we can lean into that feeling of accomplishment and positivity.

Think of an event that’s currently on your mind:

What are you telling yourself about it?

How can you practice self-compassion today?

How are you showing compassion to your team and those around you?

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé


PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous, and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker; She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on Facebook, Instagram, IGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection: How are you contributing to the most important person in your life – YOU?

Renee Giarrusso - Limitless Leaders Connection

Life gets hectic and especially of late as we all face a global pandemic, the war of our lifetime. This has presented challenges along with opportunities in more ways than one. We can get caught up in the “doing” of life instead of the “being” and spend time contributing to our home team, work team and community and we often forget about serving ourselves.

Contribution is a core human need and it satisfies another human need – growth. We grow when we contribute and contribute through growth.

You’ve heard the saying ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup‘ so therefore we need to serve ourselves in order to better contribute to and serve others. Like fuelling a car, if we optimise self-contribution then the car will go further. We will also feel more fulfilled and able to bring our ‘whole selves’ to whatever we do.

Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you! Click To Tweet

We can contribute to ourselves in a plethora of ways and we need to be mindful of how and when we do this, to ensure the Gift of Contribution doesn’t remain unwrapped.

Let’s explore a few ways we can ensure we give back to ourselves:

Wellbeing

What are you doing to ensure you are mentally, spiritually and emotionally looking after yourself? This could be as simple as exercise, meditation, mindfulness and protecting yourself from situations and people that disempower or drain you.

Self-growth

Identify and further develop your competencies and skills. Find out what really motivates you and satisfy these preferences – they will make you feel more energised. By growing yourself, you will have more to contribute to others, both in and out of the workplace.

Reading

Create a reading habit. Research from the University of Sussex found that reading for only six minutes per day can reduce your stress by 68%. It's a great way to learn, take yourself away from the everyday and contribute to yourself, your growth and your inner peace.

Compliments

Accepting compliments is vital to healthy relationships, especially the one with yourself. By saying ‘thank you’ with gratitude, you are honouring the person giving the compliment and reinforcing the quality or trait you are being complimented on.

Be kind to yourself and as I always say, talk to yourself as you would a friend. We are often harsher on ourselves than anyone else.

Saying ‘no’

Easy to say but not always simple to do, learning to say ‘no’ without guilt can be empowering and will enable you to spend the right time on the right things and people. Trying to be everything to everyone is not sustainable long term. Remember you are saying ‘no’ to the event, not the person – this will make the process easier.

Dedicating time to what you love

What is one thing you are passionate about that you can dedicate time to? What sparks your interest or curiosity? Maybe it’s cooking or learning to play the guitar. We can find the time if we are intentional. The American Time Use Survey showed that we can find up to five hours per day for leisure time.

Self-contribution is vital or your energy can end up in the lost property box. If you are one of those people that find self-contribution indulgent or not a priority, reflect on what it will cost you not being able to contribute to others and live the best version of yourself.

As always Id’ love to hear what resonated with you and how you contribute to the most important person in your life-YOU.

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Creating a Gift Mindset Culture

Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Creating a Gift Mindset culture photo

Many organisational cultures do not encourage or condone the sharing of challenges or failures and even sometimes the sharing of successes. Culture is about the shared beliefs, values, customs and social behaviour of a community. Therefore, if the culture you work within is against sharing lessons it may be something that never enters your mind, especially if that organisation is all you have ever known.

In our home life, this is the same. If you are bought up not to share failures and to just suck it up and get on with it then chances are this same behaviour will play in your life. If you are encouraged to share successes and challenges at home, at school and amongst your social network, you will be more likely to be open to The Gift Mindset®.

Not everyone works in an organisation that is open to the idea of being reflective – something which can be particularly difficult to do in the workplace. When there is a lack of support from management who don’t see the reflective practice is important, then being open and sharing your lessons can go by the wayside and be challenging to navigate. I come across companies like this, not too many which is a great thing, but enough to know the challenges people face within them who want an open, self-reflective and sharing culture.

As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Sharing is caring

Think about the return on investment and start small. Maybe initiate small activities at team catch ups to share wins and/or challenges. Maximise online platforms such as Zoom, Yammer and Teams to create space for sharing. Cultural change takes time as it starts with the people.

Comfort and fear are the enemies of progress. Click To Tweet

Shadowing and sharing the best practice of success and lessons learnt from challenges is one way to promote gradual cultural change to adopt The Gift Mindset®. This can also be done by not just talking and/or observing someone but instead really encouraging interactive conversation and questioning. What this does is allow the learner to understand the underlying reasons behind someone else’s actions, making it easier to adapt what’s learned to a new situation or task.

Involve and discuss

There was a study done in May 2012 that found that pharmaceutical development teams were better able to translate and learn from another team’s past experience when they invited members of the other team — the “sharers” of knowledge — to actively participate in their discussion and problem-solving (vs. a “learner” team simply identifying the “sharer” team’s knowledge and then trying to replicate it on their own).

Expectations create reality

Remember that our expectations can create our reality and the stereotypes we hold can directly impact our behaviour and therefore impacts culture. Psychologist call this process “stereotype threat”.

Imagine you are running a session at an SLT (Senior Leadership Team) meeting for the first time. Your manager has stressed the importance to get it right and the impact on your leadership brand, team and so on if you don’t. You are aware of the stereotype “new kid on the block” so anxiety arises about potentially making a mistake. Your manager even introduces you by reinforcing this is the first time you have presented at this level. You get distracted from your focus to present an effective presentation and instead focus on the technology not working, not coming across clearly or having your message diluted by nerves.

This is a basic demonstration of how stereotypes have the power to impact our behaviour. This means that if we place concern on a situation such as a culture that doesn’t encourage sharing of success and/or challenges we are confirming a negative stereotype. This will disrupt the ability to focus on a particular task that will lead to adopting a Gift Mindset and sharing best practice across the business.

How can you instil The Gift Mindset® in your organisational culture today?

Lead to limitless

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Culture is not limited to the workplace but also our homeplace

Culture exists in both the workplace and the homeplace!

Culture is a bit of a buzz word, and it simply means the shared values, ideas and social behaviours of a community. Often applied to the workplace I reckon we need to consider what I call our “homeplace culture” too.

In the workplace, culture stems from the people, as it does at home, and with so much change happening in our lives and selves at present, now is the optimal time to review and reset culture.

Culture stems from the people, whether at work or at home and with so much change happening at present, now is the time to review and reset culture. Click To Tweet

Both a high performance and happy work culture can be replicated at home. Obviously different people are involved but the principals are the same.

Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear. – Walter Lippmann.

Whether in the workplace as a team or at home with your loved ones, house buddies or friends, take a step back to reset and realign the culture.

The 3 L’s to reflect on :

  1. LET IN new ways of working and thinking
  2. LET GO of what no longer serves you and those around you
  3. LET BE what is working and can continue

Take some time to review and realign:

Purpose

  • Why are we here?
  • What gets us out of bed in the morning?

Values

  • What is important to us individually and as a team?
  • How are we living these values?

Beliefs

  • What beliefs are serving us and limiting us?
  • What do we need to believe in?

Behaviours

  • What behaviours and ways of being are working?
  • What needs to change or be done differently?

Attitudes

  • What is the thinking of each other?
  • What motivates us and lights us up?

We are taking bookings for our virtual Culture Reset Team workshops for August and September.

Contact Natalie for more details.

Lead to be limitless…
Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.