Are you a curious leader? Here's how to know

You might have heard this before. People leave leaders, not companies. According to DDI, 57% of employees leave due to leadership. The best leaders create an environment in which curiosity and learning new skills is valued.

Surveys show us curiosity is becoming an increasingly important trait for business leaders. Recent studies of more than a thousand CEOs found that “curiosity” and “open-mindedness” were cited as leadership traits that are not only vital but growing in importance. Other research shows that curiosity — asking questions, evaluating several possible solutions and challenging the status quo — can lead to improved outcomes at the corporate level.

Leaders who are curious are often more successful at finding creative ways to overcome obstacles and encouraging their employees to be creative thinkers as well. Brian Grazer, a film producer and author of the book ‘A Curious Mind’, once said, “If you’re the boss, and you manage by asking questions, you’re laying the foundation for the culture of your company or your group.” A curious culture, definitely starts at the top and, when you have a culture of servant leadership, you’ll find this curiosity trickles down to each employee in your organization.

Not naturally curious? Research says that’s OK — it can actually be a learned skill that you hone over time. Try doing more creative, participatory brainstorming with your team. Ask more questions that begin with ‘why’ and ‘what if …’ Don’t always go with your first hunch when trying to solve a problem. Ask your team — and yourself — why things have always been done they way they have been done. Think about an array of possible solutions — and engage your team in the process of finding the best and most creative solution. And don’t forget to look at problem from multiple viewpoints, not just your own.