Curiosity As a Key Management Skill – Part 1 of 4 Part Series

At Bold New Directions our management training teaches managers to lead with curiosity. If you’re like most managers and leaders you’ve progressed to where you are, in part, because you have a strong sense of curiosity. You’re curious about how to solve problems, how to motivate your staff, how to improve operations and productivity. Many leaders, however, don’t think of their innate curiosity as a tool to help them lead. In our management training programs we focus on the positive effects of curiosity, and how managers can consciously use their genuine curiosity to improve their management skills.


As a manager, curiosity benefits you in several ways. Over the course of the next few weeks we will explore Curiosity in this 4 Part Series.  Curiosity puts wonder into our lives. Eagerness, inquiring mind, inquisitiveness, interest, investigation, questioning, searching, thirst for knowledge: all common names for curiosity.  By being curious life becomes an adventure. Being curious about the old and familiar can reveal exciting, new perspectives; and wondering what’s around the corner or beyond the bend leads to exploration and discovery.While curiosity makes every aspect of our lives more exciting and vital, in our management training programs we share examples of how curiosity has helped to raise management skills.


Karen recently joined a new company as a manager. Not everything had gone smoothly since she started. For one thing, she was not that excited about the team she was leading (nor they about her), and she wondered if there was a way for her to become more consciously engaged with them.

Karen is proud of her management skills; she’s a mindful person and an aware manager She decided to remember back to times in her life when she was excited or engaged. What were the qualities of those interactions that held her interest? As Karen recalled situation after situation from her past, she saw that the most vibrant times were when she was deeply curious. Instead of approaching someone or something with preconceived opinions, she’d been open to discovering with fresh eyes, a fresh mind, and a fresh heart.

After coming to the conclusion that curiosity would be a great ally for harmoniously working with her team members, Karen made a commitment to interact and relate to them – not from a state of dislike or judgment – but rather with healthy curiosity. She wondered what she would learn about her team and about herself.

And she was deeply curious about what she could learn from her staff about the operations she was there to manage – What was going well and why? Where were the problems and what ideas did her team members have for solutions? She realized that her spirit of curiosity could lead to her to feeling excited about the challenges of her work and to feeling engaged with her team. It was time to start asking questions.


For More Information About Growing Your Management Skills

For more resources about management skills training, managing change, or building team effectiveness, visit our website at: or learn about management training at . Or stay tuned to read parts 2 & 3 & 4 of this Series on Improving Your Management Skills through Curiosity.   

Adapted from the book entitled Managing From The Inside Out written by Jim Hornickel, edited by Suzanne Guthrie, available at





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