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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: Stop awfulising and own your thoughts!

Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Stop awfulising and own your thoughts! blog

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

Having a deep awareness of our thoughts is the one thing we can control, no matter who we are or where we are from.

Our thoughts dictate how we feel and therefore, where we do or do not take action. We need to be consciously aware of our thoughts and our inner dialogue. We also need to be aware of our minds chatter that can escalate to fear when we go through uncertainty or face something we don't understand.

Negative self-talk can include awfulising (not a real word) where you may assume the worst, and it can lead to a downward spiral of negative thinking. Another common one is filtering; this may be when you face a challenge and can only see the negative aspects, although positive ones exist in parallel.

For example, if you are thinking “I don't like working from home” this will naturally cause you to focus on the negatives of the situation, which may include loneliness, disconnection, demotivation, uncertainty and so on.

Our inner voice allows us to narrate our own lives; it is an internal monologue almost like a conversation with oneself that has so much power over us. Click To Tweet

4 key tips to eliminate that awfulising voice

Catch your critic and name it:

Stop and name the thought, and refer to it by that name going forward. I once had a client say that negative talk was about being not good enough or to “needy Ned”. This made her laugh whenever she referred to these thoughts with this name. This alone can change your current state of thought and the direction of further conversation.

Flip your beliefs:

Usually, whatever we think or tell ourselves are framed as beliefs, things we believe to be true that either do or do not serve us. Inviting a negative belief into your head for instance; “I will never get through this challenge” could be flipped to “What can help me get through this challenge?

Talk to yourself like a friend:

It's amazing how harsh we can be to ourselves, often harsher than we would ever dream of being with those we love. Talk to yourself as you would a friend; be light, be kind and above all, be respectful and come from a place of love.

Reframe your words:

Words are more powerful than we think, and we need to be conscious of what and how we frame what we tell ourselves. Reframing “I'm nervous and challenged” to “I'm excited about this opportunity” can change your energy, mindset and above all your awareness from what can be opposed to what can't.

  • This is too hard vs this may take some effort
  • I can't do this vs I'm on track to doing this
  • Being alone is hard vs who can I connect with
  • Working at home vs working from home

As always, I'd love to hear what is working for you.

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.

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.

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Supercharge Working Remotely

Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Supercharge Working Remotely Photo

In today's workforce, managers can often be seen as the unsung heroes. Pivotal to an employees performance, motivation and happiness at work, they have the power to influence how engaged employees are. In essence, they drive how people may think, feel and act, therefore impacting the culture of the organisation they work within.

Whether managing teams on site or remotely, leadership can be learnt and built upon. Limitless Leadership™ is based on the premise of learning, unlearning, forever evolving and having an infinite mindset of what could be.

As I write this the global pandemic of COVID-19 continues to force many workplaces into lockdown yet again with employees continuing to work remotely from home in shifts or on a full time basis.

Many of my clients are working remotely, my brother has lost his job, my sister is in isolation as having cancer treatment and my Mum has just had her business shut their doors. Many of those around us are in a state of flux, fear and anxiety. The familiar smiles from the coffee shops are fading, the roads are quiet and there is a strange energy in the air as we remain uncertain of our future, our health, our work and all that we had planned.

In these times of uncertainty, change and disruption, as leaders I believe this is an opportunity to shine and level up in our leadership through new ways of working, thinking and collaborating. With a major pivot, we can all get through this. Personally, we have had the majority of our work postponed and we have been working feverishly around the clock to change HOW we deliver what we do.

Going from chaos to calm is important as we navigate a landscape we have never seen before in our lifetime. Click To Tweet

Supercharging your leadership is needed now more than ever.

Leading remote teams has fast become the new normal while working during COVID-19 and the accessibility of technology, better working practices has seen a downturn in the need to invest in expensive offices. Some businesses access all they need from a backpack. Whoever would have thought this was even possible?

A report from the UN International Labour organisation found that while many employees are more productive when they work outside of the conventional office, they're also more vulnerable to working longer hours, a more intense work pace, work-home interference, and, in some cases, greater stress.

The challenges are real

Recent research from Soapbox indicated that remote managers experience retention challenges six times higher than on-site managers. They also discovered that remote managers struggle two times more than on-site managers when getting their teams to collaborate. This is due to distance, time zones and other factors.

Another finding was that managers leading remotely found hitting team goals almost twice as hard as when leading onsite. It was also discovered that managers with more than 50% of their team working remotely struggle with providing value to employees in one-on-one catch ups. Another key finding was that 56% of employees surveyed believe that managers need to adapt their skills to lead a remote workforce.

As leaders, we need to step up!

Having worked and led teams remotely for over 20 years I’m highly aware of the challenges above. In conjunction with these challenges, many other barriers block our way to successfully lead teams and businesses remotely.

Here are a few key tips on leading teams and businesses remotely:

Lead with empathy

Empathy requires us to lean in and really feel what other people are going through.

Don’t assume everyone is seeing the world the same way as you. Take the time to be present and have deep and meaningful interactions with your team and peers.

Examples of simple questions you could ask are; How can I support you right now? Would you like me to talk or just listen? Is there anything else I can help you with?

Mindset

A change of mindset can be a barrier. An adaptive mindset around creating new norms is crucial when we go from an office environment to working in isolation. When we shift from what know there is uncertainty and as humans we aren’t good at dealing with the unknown so reframing expectations is vital here.

Remember thoughts and what we tell ourselves lead to how we feel and therefore what we action. Be conscious of what you are thinking and the story you are creating. Talk to yourself as a friend would.

Sole or group environment

In the workplace, there are those that lean towards working in a sole environment and most probably will usually adapt more easily to working remotely than someone who is motivated by people around them. Many people struggle to stay motivated working alone, even with access to online collaborative tools and new ways of working.

Ensure you tap into each person and amplify technology as a conduit to collaboration and don’t assume that everyone has adjusted to working remotely in the same way.

Set new expectations

A change in working conditions can lead to unclear expectations, boundaries and ways of working. For an employee having no direction or leadership is like driving somewhere using Google Maps without inputting a destination. There is nowhere to aim for or reach which can stifle action, motivation and overall morale.

Unclear purpose, objectives and expectations of the business, team and roles are widespread especially when new norms aren’t in place and accepted.

Ensure expectations are discussed as a team and everyone set boundaries for what they will and won’t stand for (such as working hours and breaks).

Set up your environment

The environment we work from can be a barrier. Lack of room, light, interaction, systems and processes can stifle our productivity, motivation and overall performance. Communication can become fragmented when a team is split up. Many people experience a lack of training in new systems and tools needed to do their job from home and this can impact confidence and productivity.

Ensure workspaces are set up for success and the technology and systems are assessed, understood and utilised.

Self management

Managing time and prioritising is another common challenge and distractions from visitors, loved ones and even the family pet can get in the way.

Many people find loneliness creeps in, we are wired to connect so this can be a natural and common occurrence. Speaking to a client recently who has relocated to a home office from a fast paced open plan office said she feels like she has FOMO, fear of missing out and being out of the loop as not in her normal environment.

Manage self to manage time and ensure everyone has a work plan and boundaries around this.

Use physical disconnection to drive connection

Human beings are wired for connection, it’s an innate need to belong and be part of a community. Ensure as a leader you are jealously protecting time for 1:1s (often first to be forgotten), team catch ups and quick check in calls to keep the lines of communication open. Be innovative and have virtual lunches, themes of the day and different times you catch up.

Use a variety of tools to connect and leverage the technology available.

Coach and grow team members to facilitate team catch ups so you aren’t always in the driver's chair.

I really believe there is a gift in every situation and now is your time to shine as a leader, collaborate more deeply with your team and look at new ways of working to lift performance.

The world needs you, now is the time to step up and supercharge your leadership.

Lead top 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.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Ramp up your remote work with visuals

Limitless Leaders Ramp up your remote work with visuals

When working remotely, the first thing that we miss is the physicality of working with other people.

As much as remote work can increase productivity, connection and collaboration can be hindered if we don’t regularly review and renew what is working as far as communication is concerned.

Technology will never fully replace human interaction, but it is a resource we need to understand and leverage, or we will be left behind. Never have we been so connected and if we use the right systems in the right way, the sky is the limit as to where we can work and what we can achieve.

Technology will never fully replace human interaction, but it is a resource we need to understand and leverage, or we will be left behind. Click To Tweet

The evidence

One of the most collaborative and visually connecting technologies is video conferencing. Think Zoom, Skype and Webex, to name a few. More engaging and true-to-life video solutions are replacing audio-only conference calls. There are many articles published attributing video communication to an increase in productivity, better connected teams, it is more straightforward, and a more engaging way to meet.

To continue to develop your team, tap into online courses, internal learning platforms and virtually run programs and webinars.

Utilising technology, when working remotely, helps alleviate the challenges of working alone. Although you aren’t ‘pressing the flesh’ so to speak, it's the second best thing to bridge the gap many face working in remote teams.

A 2019 Impact of video conferencing report found:

  • 94% of businesses say video conferencing increases productivity
  • 90% of respondents say video makes it easier to get their point across
  • 89% of respondents agree that video conferencing reduces time to complete projects or tasks
  • 89% of users say video conferencing helps them feel connected
  • 99% of respondents think that improving communication and collaboration can impact productivity positively
  • 87% of employees not physically present for a meeting report feeling better engaged with colleagues through video

 

Tap into what your team needs

Mix up your interactions and tap into the preferences of what your team needs.

  • Supercharge video conferencing tips
  • Dress for work not for Netflix
  • Our physiology creates our psychology
  • Ensure the frame behind you represents you professionally
  • Create rules around cameras on/off, muting and question time
  • Dial up your energy by 20%
  • Actively listen
  • Match pace, pitch and words
  • Give the speaker undivided attention and acknowledge them
  • Defer judgement until all have spoken
  • Provide feedback
  • Match sitting or standing posture
  • Stand up to increase your energy on longer calls
  • Make sure your hands are in screen view

As always, I’d love to hear what is working for 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.

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.