I’ve worked with hundreds of top performers with the most advanced skill sets on the market who were still struggling to find that dream job before they started working with me. The missing ingredient in so many cases was a single personality trait that can skyrocket your career: Curiosity.
This might sound trite and intangible, which is why I’m going to guide you through mastering this skill in three practical steps.“…studies have shown that high levels of curiosity in adults are connected to greater analytic ability, problem-solving skills and overall intelligence. All of which suggests that cultivating more curiosity in your daily life is likely to make you smarter.” 1FIRST, WHY CURIOSITY?
Curiosity is a magic bullet for three key areas…
1. LEADERSHIP AND SUCCESS.The most successful people are fiercely curious, and through this approach they stay on the cutting edge of business practices and technical skills. If you’re not insatiably interested in everything having to do with your industry, you might be in the wrong field. By identifying and honing the new skills you need to master, you’ll always be advancing your career and expanding your leadership abilities.
Curiosity, like relationship-building, is considered a soft skill, and it’s just as important as hard skills, like email marketing and graphic design.Curiosity is crucial to building and maintaining relationships. If you’re not engaged with the people around you they’ll get bored with you and you won’t maintain and/or grow your connections.
Your network is key for your success, and the best way to expand it is to be genuinely interested in other people.A lot of people don’t realize that you don’t have to be the most “fascinating” person in the world to develop meaningful relationships in your personal and professional life – you just need to be curious, because curiosity you a fascinating, engaging person.When people see that you’re interested in them, they light up, their confidence shines through, and they want to stay connected with you.
3. SATISFACTION AND HAPPINESS.Two of the biggest causes of dissatisfaction in the workplace are boredom and indifference. When you’re not engaged at work, it’s hard to feel happy in life.You can avoid getting jaded by staying curious about your surroundings. Instead of gluing yourself to your iPhone when you commute, take in your surroundings and be more mindful – engage with who and what’s around you. Give a stranger a compliment if you’re thinking of something nice and take note of how it makes them feel and YOU feel!You might meet your next big client or land an amazing new position by simply being present with your environment and open to what could unfold.
Even if you were curious when you were younger or you still consider yourself to be curious today, it’s easy to get a little jaded as you get older. That’s why it’s so important to constantly cultivate a deep level of curiosity at work.NOW…HOW CAN YOU APPLY THIS IN A PRACTICAL WAY?
Here are three simple steps you can apply to any situation where you want to be more mindful and curious but aren’t sure where to start…
Listen: One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you’re trying to cultivate curiosity is constantly talking and asking questions instead of listening. Focus on really listening to people when they talk to you, instead of thinking about what you’re going to say in response, or not paying attention at all which we are all guilty of!
Make eye contact: Making eye contact will help you read body language and understand the person you’re speaking with on a deeper level. Eye contact also sends the signal to the other person that you’re really listening, and are interested in what they have to say.
Respond with thoughtful questions: After you’ve listened with full presence, respond with a thoughtful question or two. Be genuine. What are you curious about? What do you want to learn more about given the interaction?
I know these steps might sound simple, but I see so many professionals daily who are simply not present, and are not curious. And it’s not their fault. Our current business landscape is so focused on technology that it takes a lot of focus to be in the moment and be curious – but it’s the most important thing you can do to advance your career.
Do you consider yourself a curious person? Whether your answer is yes, no, or kind of, how can you cultivate more curiosity starting today? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org– we’d love to hear from you.
Sources: The Power of Curiosity1