A gift for all seasons: curiosity

This blog was reposted in January, 2020

Curiosity killed the cat? Maybe, but it can make you more creative and innovative at work.

One of the best gifts you can bring to your work, whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been working in the same field for a very long time, is curiosity. Giving yourself permission to be curious can help you solve problems more creatively, demonstrate engagement to colleagues and customers, and keep your work interesting when others feel like their occupation is nothing but a grind.

So how can you stay curious? Here are just a few ideas to keep your curiosity active all the time:

  1. Ask the “how might we” question whenever you encounter a problem (or someone else brings one to the table). You’ll find ideas that move you toward solutions.
  2. Think about the “opposite game” you might have played as a kid – when you have a strong opinion, ask yourself what would have to change, for you to believe the opposite. Then use that to reframe your narrative in a way your opponent can better understand.
  3. Explore the “why” when you’re working on a process – why have we always done it this way? Why couldn’t that change? You’ll challenge your paradigms and open doors to fresh thinking.
  4. Be a reporter – when explaining an idea, imagine you’ll need to explain it to someone who knows nothing about the topic, and find ways to tell the story that includes all of the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where, why. (Bonus points for how!) The toughest parts to explain are where curiosity can help you learn the most.
  5. When meeting with customers, the words “show me” can help you understand how they use your product, what challenges they are encountering, or what’s delighting them about a competitor’s offering. 

We’re always curious – so if you need answers, we can help you ask the right questions, or we can work with your team to make sure their curiosity is always in excellent working order.

I’m Megann Willson, and I’m one of the partners here at PANOPTIKA. We work with clients like you, to help them see everything they need to know to build a better business, so they can find, keep, and know their best customers. For more content, you can follow us on social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. We send a collection of curated content every Friday to our subscribers. There’s a button for that, below.