No organization is immune to change. The COVID-19 pandemic was an excellent example of the importance of adaptability. Successful teams need to be prepared to respond effectively to organizational, economic, and industry-wide changes.
The question for leaders then becomes: How do you equip teams to thrive in an era defined by change and “new normals”?
One of the most important characteristics of successful teams is curiosity. Here’s an overview of the benefits of curiosity, and how shared virtual experiences can cultivate this trait.
7 Benefits of Curiosity at Work
Curiosity is an important part of our personal growth and learning. With this growth comes many benefits, too. From physical to mental well-being, curiosity is an important piece of your thriving team puzzle.
Here’s a list of some of the top benefits of curiosity.
1. Curiosity Improves Creative Problem-Solving
Curious people have less defensive reactions to stress and less negative reactions to setbacks.
Being resourceful is a must for those who are curious and determined to find answers. Team members with curiosity will ask questions until they find answers. It’s a game to discover different ways to solve problems.
Because of this, curious team members are often excellent at coming up with innovative and original ideas and thoughts.
2. Curiosity Makes People Happier
Research indicates that curiosity is related to increased levels of:
- Positive emotions
In addition, it seems that the most curious people have less anxiety than others.
It’s believed that those who are curious are more apt to seek out knowledge which causes the release of dopamine.
Fostering a sense of curiosity is great for you and your team. Asking questions, coming up with new ideas, and similar actions could make you a happier person.
3. Curiosity Leads to Higher Achievement
Curiosity has long been considered a motivator for excellent classroom learning for kids. However, research indicates that the same is true for adults. People in the workforce who are curious tend to have better job performance and tend to excel at learning in the workplace.
They’re also less susceptible to confirmation bias—looking for information that supports their beliefs and ignoring data suggesting they are wrong. Curious teams also don’t stereotype as often.
4. Curiosity Expands Our Empathy
Another benefit of curiosity is a higher level of empathy. The most empathetic people are curious about those around them.
Members put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in others’ ideas rather than focusing only on their own perspectives. This reduces instances of group conflict.
A natural sense of inquisitiveness is to be lauded. It means team members will work to understand each other in all situations.
5. Curiosity Strengthens Our Relationships
People who are curious about others’ lives—without coming across as intrusive—are often better at creating positive relationships.
That’s because active listening is one of the most critical factors in relationship-building. This can help your team connect with one another and build trust as they get to know one another.
6. Curiosity Helps Us Overcome Fears
When people are curious, they don’t experience as many setbacks related to fears. Curiosity means pushing beyond discomfort and taking solace in the unknown. It can drive people to take action even when fear is present.
Curious individuals are open to going past their comfort zones. If it results in learning about something they’re passionate about, they’ll continue exploring.
7. Curiosity Breeds Self-Awareness and Humility
Curious people are constantly questioning their values, perceptions, and beliefs about life. These people tend to know each other inside and out. Having that high degree of self-awareness leads to humility.
These team members are willing to experiment even when it comes to themselves. Finding methods to improve skills is a common activity. Curious people are always looking to create the best version of themselves.
What To Do if Your Team’s Curiosity Needs a Boost
If you’re hoping to foster curiosity in your workplace, modeling inquisitiveness and leading by example is often the best place to start. Most executives feel obliged to provide the answer and show ‘leadership’. However, the best form of leadership—particularly in times of ambiguity—may be to ask questions and listen with curiosity.
As an example, Toyota has maintained a lead over auto manufacturers, not by inventing kanbans and lean production, but by maintaining a culture of humble learning—of curiosity—that’s embedded in the Toyota Way.
Building Curiosity With Teamraderie
Want to help your team develop their own curiosity? Our “Uncork Curiosity” virtual experience is a 45-minute wine tasting that tells the story of lawyer-turned-vintner Jim Barrett who bought a crumbling 150-acre estate in Napa Valley in 1972.
Barrett knew little about wine, but hired for ‘curiosity’ and gave his team the confidence to innovate. Four years later, Jim Barrett’s Chateau Montelena produced the world’s #1-rated wine, starting a multi-decade run of producing the world’s most innovative and acclaimed bottles.