By Amy Stanton
A few years ago, an interesting study came out of Harvard Business Review titled “The Business Case for Curiosity.”
In the study, HBR reported how an increase in employee curiosity led to a dramatic increase in company-wide creativity; how curiosity leads to empathy, which leads to reduced conflict among team members; and how “Google identifies naturally curious people through interview questions such as these: ‘Have you ever found yourself unable to stop learning something you’ve never encountered before? Why? What kept you persistent?’”
And then a few weeks ago, I came across a piece on Medium titled “The 2-Word Trick That Makes Small Talk Interesting.”
What are the two words?
“I’m curious…” before asking a question.
Whether we realize it or not, curiosity is one of the most appealing qualities . . . in a friend, an employee, a boss, or a leader.
Curiosity leads to improved problem-solving—in just about every capacity (logistically, emotionally, financially, etc.).
As the HBR study goes on to explain, “To assess curiosity, employers can also ask candidates about their interests outside of work. Reading books unrelated to one’s own field and exploring questions just for the sake of knowing the answers are indications of curiosity.”
I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I was starting my company, originally focused exclusively on female athletes and women’s sports, a number of people told me, “There’s no money in women’s sports.” And the reason I pressed on regardless was that I was curious. “Is that true? If it is true, why? And shouldn’t we change that?” Those questions and my curiosity started the Stanton & Company journey (thank goodness!).
And then a few years ago, when I decided I wanted to write a book about femininity, I was curious about my behaviors, feelings, and ideas—was I experiencing something unique, or were my feelings and human responses part of a larger societal reality? (The answer turned out to be the latter.)
Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.