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ABCD Model for Leadership: Curiosity

Podcast host Tania Salarvand | Podcast guest Anita Sands
June 23, 2021 | 30 min 34 sec

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Brief summary

Dr. Anita Sands takes lessons from champion sports teams in times of ambiguity and applies it to the business world, through the ABCD framework. The third part of the framework (part 3 of 4) explores the ability to step into new situations with a mindset underpinned by curiosity. This episode will help leaders develop a mindset for curiosity and create an environment that gives teams the capacity to be authentically curious.

Part 1: Awareness | Part 2: Belonging

Episode highlights

  • Curiosity is the superpower. The thing that ambiguity demands is nothing other than the best and the most form of curiosity that you can muster. And curiosity is the only answer because in situations of ambiguity, you're dealing with complexity. If you are dealing with something that is unprecedented, the only way you're going to find ways to think through this, is by invoking curiosity because you can't rely on anything you've seen before.
  • Curiosity is the secret sauce for these teams because they step into these situations with an entirely different mindset, underpinned by curiosity. “Wow, this is a gift. No matter how poorly wrapped. This situation of uncertainty and pressure and ambiguity is a gift because I am going to see what I'm made of.” 
  • If you can flip yourself into curiosity mode, you can get out of this fight, flight freeze mode. It's actually physiologically impossible to be in fight, flight freeze mode and be curious at the same time. So there's incredible emotional benefits to curiosity and cognitive benefits.
  • The real secret of curiosity for leaders, for managers, and within organizations is that it's something that simply needs to be unobstructed, something that we have to make sure we don't stand in the way of. As leaders, can we step back and ask ourselves what takes away from people's capacity to be authentically curious in our team or in this environment.
  • If there were systems or processes that constrict or constrain possibility, as opposed to enable possibility, that's another way in which curiosity can get curtailed. Curiosity in teams is not something we want to manage, it's something we want to unleash. 

Related: Resilience, curiosity and belonging: The drivers of successful change

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