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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: 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: 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.