BLOG_2020_10_22 Curiosity and Results

Curiosity and Results: What’s the Connection?

22 OCTOBER 2020

When we are kids, our imagination and curiosity are fully engaged. 

If you have spent any time with a four-year-old, you know what I mean with their “Why” response to almost everything!  Unfortunately, for most of us as we grow older, we are told to follow structured ways of thinking or act in a conforming way. We grow up hearing that asking so many questions is rude or shows our ignorance, or we will get into trouble if we are like Curious George (my favorite storybook as a kid and I still have it!). We might even have been warned, “Curiosity killed the cat.”  I think curiosity has a bad rap!

The truth is curiosity is one of the most vital and life-affirming qualities you can bring to your life, your relationships and even your business.

Curiosity in Life

Helen Keller said, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all!

When you cultivate an attitude of curiosity, doors open and adventures begin; questions lead to new possibilities. For example, asking yourself, “What do I want to learn now and where might that lead me?” can set you on a journey of exciting exploration that moves you forward. If, instead, you come from the place of “I already know what I need to know,” you shut off the possibility of discovering something new that could rock your world.

Curiosity in Relationships

How often do we assume we know what someone else is thinking or experiencing?

What if we came from a place of not knowing and offered others an invitation to speak? According to Sharon Ellison, creator of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication, “A non-defensive question is innocently curious, reflecting the purity of the child who asks how a flower grows or what makes an airplane fly.” We invite others to share their true experience when we ask questions without hidden agendas and to clarify understanding.  We also learn how to become better listeners. 

Curiosity in Business

It is so easy to blame others when things go wrong.

Consider being curious about your experience rather than being critical. For example, instead of beating yourself up for not reaching sales goals—again—try asking yourself what was going on for you that kept your from performing to your expectations? With an attitude of “how fascinating that I’ve created this” you are much more likely to help yourself find new solutions to attaining your goals.

When you are curious in all areas of your life, you transform from being a judge to being an observer and explorer.   The judge is critical and demeaning while the observer and explorer are curious, kind, and open to change.

Practice Cultivating Curiosity

Here are some ways to cultivate a more curious life.

Practice asking questions with openness and neutrality. Practice with strangers in stores and with people close to you. Stop thinking you know all the open to being surprised! Remember to listen with all your whole body – don’t be thinking about your response.

Inquiries. An inquiry is an open-ended question designed to broaden your perspective. For example: “What would make life a daring adventure for me?” “Where in my life do I assume I already know?”

Assumptions. These impact how we treat strangers as well as loved ones. Challenge your assumptions by asking, “Is what I think to be true, really true?” Or you could ask, “What if that’s not true?” What other choices might you make then?

If you truly want to expand your excitement, joy and fulfillment in life and relationship, sprinkle liberal doses of curiosity and watch your life become the fabulous adventure it can be!

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