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Curiosity can be Compelling

Did curiosity really kill the cat, or instead made its life successful?

Curiosity—defined as a penchant for seeking new experiences, knowledge, and feedback and an openness to change.  Claudio Fernández-Aráoz et al.

Maintaining our curiosity keeps us from judging others.  Conflict is often caused through the perspective that our personal view is correct, and others are wrong.  Curiosity can suspend this often-unfounded belief.  Improving communication in teams or groups.

Through our search for answers and different perspectives, we can make life easier apart from not coming to blows with others.  Using appropriate questions can unlock an unthought of solution.

Curiosity improves decision making because it reduces our susceptibility to stereotypes and to confirmation bias; it fuels employee engagement and collaboration; and it fortifies organizational resilience by prompting creative problem solving in the face of uncertainty and pressure. In short, curiosity boosts business performance. Adi Ignatius


Dealing with Difficulty

Complexity needs our curiosity.  With so much achieved by humans, complexity has become increasingly evident.  Dealing with complexity means that often we approach it with a sense of overwhelm.  Taking time to unpack, to break it down into

With changing circumstances, curiosity can stop us from expecting tomorrow to be the same as today.  Failing to make assumptions or take things for granted makes new people valuable to the team.



Todd B. Kashdan and colleagues, in their excellent research Why Curiosity Matters, found five drivers of curiosity:

  1. Identifying a gap in what we know which drives us to find a solution or understanding,
  2. The joy of learning, perhaps our native state, like children, relishing in discovery,
  3. Socialising and listening to others, exposing us to their ideas and perspectives,
  4. Tension in considering the uncertainty of what we don’t know,
  5. Risk taking, like gambling against the odds on an outcome.


So, curiosity can be compelling for us to develop, especially as in many cultures, there does exist a strong positive correlation exists between curiosity and competence in executives (Fernández-Aráoz et al).

How can a renewed sense of openness help you, being relieved of the need to know the answer, the best course of action or indeed to be right?

HBR did an excellent series of articles in September–October 2018.

Photo credit: Hasse Lossius on Unsplash.


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