"Curious" Characteristics

[R]egaining our sense of curiosity is important to our success. Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company

What does the IdeaFestival mean when it asks you to "stay curious?" On the IdeaFestival blog, we've referred to research that says successful creatives are open to experience, argued that curiosity "is about this too" and pointed out that "all or nothing thinking" cuts short discovery

Fast Company adds to this list, identifying eight characteristics of curious people, and says, among other things, that curiosity is about asking a better question.

'We’ve moved out of the industrial era and into the information era. Curiosity is a fundamental piece of that work and a powerful tool,' says Kathy Taberner, cofounder of the Institute of Curiosity, a leadership coaching team that focuses on curiosity.

Answers are more valued than inquisitive thought, and curiosity is trained out of us.

While we’re born curious, experts say we can relearn the trait. Here are eight habits of people who’ve retained their sense of curiosity:

1. They listen without judgment.

We agree. Notice that Vozza doesn't say never form an opinion, but to "listen" without judgement. Because insight doesn't flow from facts, but what you do with the facts, withholding judgement in the moment is transformed from a passive activity into an information gathering tool. You just might uncover the final piece of a puzzle.

Among other "curious" characteristics, Vozza adds "seeking surprise" and "willing to be wrong." The entire list is here.

Of course, we might also add a ninth characteristic. Curious people go to the IdeaFestival. I hope to see you there!

Stay curious.