Why Curiosity is Good for Business

  1. Hire for curiosity. Seek out people who are naturally curious by asking interview questions that provide some feedback. There are curiosity assessments to help determine if people explore things they don’t know, read widely, and are excited about learning.
  2. Model inquisitiveness. Leaders need to model being curious. Ask questions and deeply listen to the responses. Most leaders would rather talk and take action than to ask questions and listen. It is OK for leaders to admit they don’t know all of the answers. This allows room for intuition, creativity, and curiosity.
  3. Emphasize learning goals. While leaders need to focus on results, integrating learning goals (developing competencies or skills) demonstrates a learning or growth mindset and reflects lifelong learning.
  4. Let employees explore and broaden their interests. Allocate time and resources for employees to explore their interests. One senior leader I interviewed for my book Leading with Wisdom, shared how their organization gave employees a personal development fund to use in ways that would enrich their lives. People used it for yoga classes, graduate courses, a spa day, and the list went on. The idea was to empower people to use the funds to explore their interests. The results were positive and contributed to the company being awarded a Spirit at Work recognition.
  5. Have “Why?” “What if?” and “How might we?” days. Children naturally ask questions and Why is one of their favorites. Simon Sinek reminds us to continue to ask Why. In fact, I say answering why over and over is critical. Assume these questions: Why are we doing this? Why is this important? Use creativity to plan these days and how to encourage employees to ask questions. Use the onion test. It is said to ask why five times in order to get to the root of a problem — similar to peeling back the layers of an onion.

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Dr. Jann is a seeker and learner who leaves a Breadcrumb Legacy. She does this as an author, consultant, speaker, and faculty member. www.JannFreed.com

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Jann Freed, PhD

Jann Freed, PhD

Dr. Jann is a seeker and learner who leaves a Breadcrumb Legacy. She does this as an author, consultant, speaker, and faculty member. www.JannFreed.com

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