We’re about to wrap our series on curiosity. To help further our understanding of the topic, we’ve included a Q&A with Sylvia below. This is Part 1 of II!
You’ve made it clear that professional curiosity helps you do your job better – and that it’s a responsibility, not an option. What do you think becomes of those who choose not to practice curiosity?
Folks who are not curious stay stuck in the status quo. It’s likely they won’t accomplish great things or move beyond where they are now. If they hold a management position, they probably won’t inspire or stretch their staff. Generally speaking, if you’re not curious, life can be terribly dull. If you’re not curious, you accept everything at face value—and that may mean you aren’t doing your job. That’s where the responsibility piece comes in. You have a responsibility to probe beneath the surface of conversations, conflicts, processes/ procedures, plans, and ideas to get to the truth, reveal hidden meanings, learn explanations, and discover better ways of doing things.
Some people are introverted and may not be comfortable asking questions or displaying a sense of curiosity about others. What advice would you give them?
I think extroverts and introverts can be curious people—and both are capable of demonstrating their curiosity. The way they demonstrate it, however, may be different at times. Curious extraverts usually ask probing and creative questions directly and regularly. Introverts may be more subtle, their curiosity taking the form of focused interest in something rather than questioning it outright. My advice to introverts who feel shy about asking questions? Instead of asking five questions, ask one—the most important one that has the greatest impact upon the discussion or work process. The bulls-eye question….that’s all you need.
Stay Tuned for Part II next week where we’ll discuss curiosity as it relates specifically to managers and executives.