Genuine curiosity occurs when you allow what you don’t know to be more interesting than what you already know—or think you know. We all start out naturally curious but soon experience begins to teach us about the world—making genuine curiosity less automatic.
Becoming genuinely curious is a skill that requires practice. While it’s a very good thing to learn from past experiences, it isn’t necessary all the time and shouldn’t be an automatic reaction. We need to learn how to question our reactions so that we can respond with conscious intent. Once we can master this skill we are able to learn again.
“I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naïve.”—Abraham Maslow
The Top 10 Benefits of Genuine Curiosity
- Gives you a puzzle to work out (stimulating, creating new brain cells, changes old habits)
- You feel smarter asking good questions vs. having a few canned answers to defend
- Allows you to be more human as you allow others to be more human, too
- You’re less frustrated because you suspend expectations
- Helps you see the connection to lots of “unrelated” parts of life
- Curiosity puts you in control rather than at the mercy of events
- You have more options available to you in every situation
- You can be satisfied not having all the answers
- Relieves the burden and stress of needing to be right all the time
- You realize just how little you know yet you feel so wise.
Related Tip of the Week: Know-it-All,
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How can genuine curiosity help you more effectively influence children, customers, networks of people, and romantic partners? What holds you back from asking questions? Share your thoughts and stories, won’t you?