Curiosity (n): A strong desire to know or learn something; inquisitiveness.
One of the key characteristics of a learning leader is to be curious. If you don’t have a strong Curiosity Quotient (CQ), you won’t go far. I find in the world in general that there is a lack of curiosity.
Is it diminishing?
We are more curious as children so we do need to try to keep that child-like curiosity alive and well. If you are curious, you are interested in everything and everybody.
Is curiosity a natural or developed skill?
I would say … ‘yes’. You probably have a natural tendency to be curious or not. But you can train yourself to look around at to your situation and ask questions. Where did he come from? What is this data saying to me? How does this piece of equipment work?
Those leaders who are naturally inquisitive want to know about the people they engage with everyday. They want to know best practices of their competitors. The want to know about the latest and greatest technology available to them.
When we complete personality assessments, we can learn about the individual’s curiosity if we look a little deeper:
- Are they a good listener?
- Do they naturally investigate problems by asking lots of questions?
- Are they open to change and serendipity and exploration?
- Do they focus on the moment as much as they focus on the future?
- Are they willing to make mistakes and take risks that will teach them new things?
- Do they build time into their overwrought schedule to think?
- Do they put their ego aside and value others who have talents they don’t have?
How curious are you? How curious can you become?
Let’s be clear, though, curiosity can be a practiced part of your day. As part of your morning routine, write out 5 good hard questions you don’t readily have an answer for and keep them in mind as you move through your day. Answering one of these questions might be as easy as Googling the answer and making an effort to memorize or retain the answer. It may be that you need to use your life’s human resources (friends, family, coworkers) to work out an answer. It may be that you need to meditate on the question to get some guidance, to hold on to it until you have a better sense of how to approach it and what method to find the answer. Needless to say if you approach your day through the lens of curiosity, you will doubtless expand your horizons and invite even more questions to answer.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
“The human brain made us curious and creative. Those were the characteristics that gave us an advantage – curiosity, creativity, and memory. And that brain did something very special. It invented an idea called the future.” – David Suzuki