Warren Ferster of Manchester on Staying Curious as an Entrepreneur
According to studies, businesses promoting curiosity in their culture have better results. These results can be attributed to better employee relationships, decreased stress, and better job performance.
Even though most business leaders know the importance of curiosity in their culture, a study conducted by the Harvard Business School in 2018 revealed that only 24% of employees feel curious about their jobs. Over 70% said they face barriers when asking questions at work.
So many businesses fail to encourage curiosity because they undervalue the impact it has on the company’s overall success. Also, despite our knowledge of the benefits of cultivating a culture of inquiry, we are unsure how to implement it.
CURIOSITY DRIVES BUSINESS GROWTH
The impact of a culture of inquiry on a company’s bottom line can be seen in various ways. For instance, if a company has a good culture of inquiry, its employees will feel more engaged and motivated to develop new ideas.
In addition to boosting a company’s bottom line, cultivating a culture of inquiry can help employees solve problems and improve their performance. This is because having good tools and resources that allow employees to be curious can help them develop the skills they need to succeed.
PRODUCES NEW SOLUTIONS
Promoting curiosity within your company will allow employees to ask questions and find answers. Even if your industry isn’t creative, your workers will want to know more.
If everyone in the company is engaged in solving problems, you’ll get a more diverse perspective when coming up with new ideas. This can help you develop more innovative and effective solutions.
Creating a culture of curiosity can also help employees become more engaged and motivated to work harder. They’ll feel like they have a greater sense of ownership of their work and can produce more effective solutions.
MAKES YOU MORE FLEXIBLE
Being curious also benefits a company’s bottom line by allowing employees to identify areas of their work to improve. Being open to what’s possible can help them develop practical solutions and avoid being influenced by confirmation bias, which is a phenomenon that occurs when people find information that supports their preconceived ideas.
People who cultivate a culture of curiosity are more likely to come up with innovative and surprising solutions. They are more likely to respond to new situations and information with curiosity. Being able to anticipate and react to changes can also help employees develop effective solutions.
Curious people are also more likely to work well with others due to their desire to see what’s possible. They’re less likely to pigeonhole others based on their appearance or stereotypes. These qualities are very important to a company’s culture of creativity and productivity.
How to Foster Curiosity
SET LEARNING-BASED GOALS
According to studies, focusing on learning-based goals can lead to better results. Likewise, decreasing the focus on performance goals can result in better outcomes.
Instead of focusing on the outcome, learning-based goals focus on the skills an individual can master. This type of goal differs from performance goals, which usually focus on hitting certain numbers. Learning-based goals aim to identify what skills an individual can learn and develop.
Performance goals can also be very discouraging as they prevent people from asking questions. If everyone is focused on hitting a certain number, they’ll stop being curious about the process and how to hit it.
One of the most important steps a leader can take to encourage curiosity is to model questioning in their work. This can be done by slowing down and explaining your thoughts when trying to solve a problem. Being honest with your team members and talking about past failures can also help encourage them to be more curious.
Consider how you and your team respond to questions and new ideas during meetings. Remain open-ended and encourage others to contribute to the solution rather than judge it.
A teacher or parent can tell you that after encouraging others to be more curious or to question their ideas, you suddenly feel defensive when your choices or ideas are questioned.
Encouraging people to be more curious will make them more likely to share their ideas and develop new initiatives. They’ll also be more open to criticism and questions. If you’re used to being an active leader, you might automatically shut down when others ask questions.
Don’t undo the good work that you’ve been doing. Instead, actively listen to the questions that your team members are asking.
The rewards of being more curious are very tangible and can positively affect your company’s bottom line and the quality of your life.