The minute we think we have all the answers, we forget the questions. – Madeleine L’Engle
Can you remember the last time you were asked a question that gave you pause, or stopped you in your tracks? Or have you learned something new, valuable or fascinating lately – simply because you stopped to ask about it?
As children, we ask an average of 300 questions a day. That number dramatically declines by the time we reach middle school, and flash forward to adulthood – our curiosity has most likely taken a backseat to work, busy schedules, overwhelming responsibilities and the business of living.
When we no longer exercise our “curiosity muscle,” we are no longer living to our fullest potential.
I recently experienced a conflict with a friend that could have easily been resolved if I had only asked the right questions. In my desire to “be right,” I made some assumptions that just weren’t true. I wanted to be understood instead of seeking to understand, and it turned out to be a missed opportunity.
By simply being curious and asking a few questions, I could have built a bridge, and shown that I care and value her input. It might have even fostered a greater sense of collaboration, and even strengthened our relationship as a whole.
This personal example easily translates into workplace scenarios … curiosity builds relationships and trust, increases creativity, fosters culture, impacts the bottom line and leads to results.
How are you doing when it comes to curiosity? Would asking more questions make a positive impact on you and your team? I’m willing to bet that it would.