I like to talk and most of the conversations I have are extremely inspiring and growing. On the other hand, there are times when conversations simply don’t stick and sometimes turn on the aggression. During one such conversation, I asked myself why? Why do I get along with some people, even though we are beautifully different, and feel uncomfortable among others? And the first thought that came to my mind was curiosity, or rather the lack of it.
When curiosity is missing, conversations can be short and focused only on practical matters. Our interlocutors may not to ask questions or express interest in exploring new ideas or topics. The conversation may be one-sided because the person without curiosity is not actively trying to find out or understand more about a topic. Interlocutors may also be less engaged in the conversation because they have no desire to learn or discover new things.
Open to experience
And here it is worth mentioning the Big Five – the five dimensions of personality, which, in addition to openness to experience, also include conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Openness to experience refers to how open a person is to new ideas, experiences and ways of thinking. People with a high openness to experience are curious, imaginative and open-minded, while people with a low openness to experience are more closed and resistant to new ideas. Openness to experience is often linked to intellectual curiosity and a desire for new experiences and challenges.
Surprised and curious
As a visionary rebel and a person with a high openness to experience, I quite often face misunderstanding and then trigger wonder and curiosity.
So, in this article, I will encourage you to practice curiosity – the natural desire to learn that drives discovery, innovation and growth. When we are curious, we are open to new ideas, perspectives and experiences. We ask questions, seek information and try to understand the world around us. Curiosity is more than just an intellectual pursuit – it is also a way of engaging with and appreciating life. It helps us to keep an open mind and engage with our surroundings.
As young children, we have a natural curiosity about the world around us; as adults, we have the chance to foster this curiosity, which I encourage everyone to do, whatever their age. What can we do to nurture this curiosity of ours?
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask ‘why’ or ‘how’ – it’s a great way to learn and explore.
- Seek out new experiences. Trying new things and stepping outside your comfort zone can spark curiosity and help you see the world in a different way.
- Be curious. Keep an open mind and be ready to learn and grow.
- Learn something new. Take a class, read a book or explore a new hobby – there is always more to learn and discover.
- Create collaborative organisations. Curiosity is a powerful tool to strengthen community action.
6 rules to trigger curiosity
Look for the benefits from looking at different perspectives.
Shift your thinking from what do I think we should do to what can you create together with other people who have different views, experience and knowledge?
Try not to be defensive.
When you hear a point of view different from your own, try to think different from mine – I wonder why they see it that way and how it can work instead of it being a dumb idea – it will never work – they don’t understand my world/environment/team I work in.
Try to look at things with the mind of a beginner.
The danger of experience is that you can become an expert, and an expert knows a limited number of possibilities. The beginner’s mind has unlimited possibilities. The easiest way to start exercising the beginner’s mind is to start using the word Why more.
If you don’t understand something, ask:
? Why are you doing this?
? Why are we doing it this way?
? Why aren’t we trying to do things differently?
And LISTEN to the answers!
Explore as many options as possible.
Spend as much time as possible covering what MAY happen before deciding instead of what SHOULD happen.
Build on others’ ideas.
Learn to use more an approach that helps you discover the uniqueness of others’ ideas and encourages you to add something from yourself or create something new from them. This approach inspires collaboration because it assumes there is something interesting in another person’s idea and invites you to add more ideas and discover even better solutions together.
? I like about your idea….
? What can we do to strengthen this idea….
? It’s really interesting because….
? Let’s go further with this idea….
Listen actively and hear new things.
When you hear an idea, stop… Don’t worry about whether it’s a good or bad idea – it doesn’t matter at this stage. Just let the idea emerge without judging it. Then dig deeper into the topic, try to understand the idea and the point of view better.
Try to ask:
? Why did you like it?
? Tell me more about it
? Let me confirm if I understand it well.