The Power of Curiosity: Why Asking Questions Leads to More Opportunity.
One of the single best habits we can get into as innovators and thinkers are to ask questions. Inquiry can be a strong motivator in seeing what you are capable of and bring you opportunities you would never have imagined.
Questions enable you to step outside of your comfort zone and learn from different industries, cultures, and worlds around you, pushing you to see you are capable of. The process of inquiry creates a ripple effect of possibilities you never thought would exist, and is what I call “The Curious Life Path” illustrated in this timeline below:
The power of “why” not only enables you to go beyond your boundaries of what you are capable of, it also ignites internal curiosity in yourself and others. Let’s turn our focus to an example. Consider asking one of your employees why he or she made the decision they did when submitting a task. In this instance, if someone turns in the required task that wasn’t exactly what you had in mind, your instinct may be to say that it isn’t what you are looking for, or give some vague direction and request for them to try again. We are all subject to this because at the time it seems like the fastest and most efficient way to move forward.
Instead, what if we invested more in the person for self-discovery? What would have happened in this instance if you asked, why did you project X the way you did here, and outline Y in this way? Asking questions provides two valuable outcomes:
1) Insight to how your employee thinks, so you can better manage them for growth in decision making
2) Challenges the individual to question why they made the specific decision and internally learn if there could be alternatives
Investing time to learn about who you are working with, and how they make decisions, gives you leverage and opportunity, and in the end, provides you with better results.
When working with others, one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is the power of asking questions, and listening in return. If you have an open mind, a curious instinct, and remain adaptable to your surroundings, you will be able to learn, and, apply that learning to your situation.
Being curious about the world, others and yourself provides more room to do exactly what you want to be doing in life and leaves little room for the unwanted leftovers. As Maya Angelou so beautifully quoted, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Listen to your internal instincts and challenge yourself to grow. Remember, you’ll never fly if you never try.
Editor in Chief, Authentic Good Co.
General Manager, Jammber, Inc.