Arini Vlotman explains how to make your curious mind – and curiosity quotient – work for you
In every team, company or group, there is that one individual that is always asking questions. You can see the wheels turning in their minds and the sparks shooting, as they try and figure out a new, better and more creative way of doing things. These people are what I call Curiosity Giants. I see them often in my training groups and I love interacting with them because I know that they are going to bring something new to the table.
Would you call yourself a Curiosity Giant? Are you always delving into the nitty gritty of things? Do you take on a challenge whole heartedly and investigating the best way to do things? Do you find new tasks thrilling and motivating? If so, then you have a high Curiosity Quotient or CQ.
The Curiosity Quotient
I’m sure you’ve heard of IQ and EQ but the CQ is the lesser known part of this equation. Officially coined by the author, Thomas L. Friedman, the term was used to describe the correlation between curiosity and learning by an individual, about a personally interesting subject. In essence, one’s intellectual investment is increased by the interest that they show in a topic. Various studies have also shown that if one member of a team has a high CQ, this drives the other members to seek out answers as well creating a team of idea generators.
So now that you know what CQ means, how do you benefit from this? There are very many positives to becoming a Curiosity Giant.
Benefitting from Curiosity
Firstly, you can make better use of your time and energy by becoming a problem solver instead of only a problem finder. Finding new ways of thinking can only benefit you in the long run.
Secondly, questioning leads to critical thinking. Critical thinking allows you to analyze, evaluate and apply information in a reasonable manner. The more you make use of this type of thought process the easier it becomes until you move into a constant mode of ‘doing’. This will increase your productivity and your outputs.
And then there’s passion. Curiosity fires up your passion and passion leads to inspiration. Imagine working in an environment that is stimulating, inspiring and fulfilling? You can create this environment just by changing your pattern of thinking.
Making the CQ theory work in all areas of your day
Act with Intent
As with any aspect of the workplace, to achieve results you need to know what you want to gain. The first step to increasing your CQ is to identify which part of your workspace needs more attention on your part. Then, every time you have a project or task, you will be aware that you need to be delving into it a bit more. Sometimes that enthusiasm will have to be faked, but once you identify the challenge your brain gets stimulated and your creative mind will take over.
Asking questions forces you to think a bit further than what you’ve been told. Each answer leads to more questions which results in greater understanding. Your questions will also spark the interest of those around you and before long, you would have created a positive, and more important, a productive team.
Consult and Discuss
Brainstorming sessions are a popular method of problem solving because discussion amongst a group of people prompts solution building. In the same way, speaking to your co-workers or other teams will act as a stimulant and get your brain working in a different way. As individuals we each have a particular way of thinking; by consulting those around you, you are provided with various outlooks on one topic.
Sit on the Fence
In order to fully understand a problem, you must look at it from all sides. Start by looking at a situation from a neutral point of view, without pre-judgement or bias. This will allow your mind to expand in many different directions and your need for answers or a solution will keep your curiosity stimulated.
So now that you know how and why to increase your curiosity quotient, what’s stopping you from becoming a Curiosity Giant?