Leading with curiosity

February 12, 2020

Something I’ve been working on recently is leading with curiosity.

In my default state, I lead with intuition. In the world of MBTI, this is the opposite of taking in information with sensing — but really, they’re two sides of the same coin. In both cases, we’re leading with certainty. It’s just a matter of how we came to those conclusions.

When something is going poorly — or not even poorly but differently than I hoped or expected — I’m even worse at leading with curiosity. My intuition tells me that I have failed in some way, and that failure has led to this outcome. Surely this could have been prevented!

But when I lead with curiosity, I’m able to see the good in how things unfolded. When something doesn’t happen when I thought it should, and I respond with curiosity, I almost always find that the timing was better than what I had in mind.

Was the timing objectively better or was I simply more open to different outcomes? There are probably times the former is true, and other times that it’s the latter. But either way, curiosity leads me to a place of observation (and hopefully acceptance) rather than judgment.

In the last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time in John 15, but it was just a few weeks ago that I connected the pruning of the branches to leading with curiosity. When God cuts back my branches, my intuition says it’s because those branches are dead and fruitless. But John 15:2 speaks a different word: “every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

I want to lead with curiosity in this space — to assume that God is pruning, not uprooting, and then ask him what he’s up to.

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