A few years ago a friend, mentor and coach asked me what makes a global leader inclusive. I have lived and worked in 3 Continents and every time I was faced with a new culture, a new perspective, a new environment I approached it with curiosity. Without it, I do not think I could have enjoyed and learnt from these experiences.
The Harvard Business Review reports that curiosity is vital to an organisation’s performance. According to the HBR, curiosity leads to less errors because we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias and to stereotyping people. Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives. A field study by Spencer Harrison showed that the most curious employees sought the most information from coworkers, and the information helped them in their jobs—for instance, it boosted their creativity in addressing customers’ concerns.
When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.
We also perform better when we’re curious. Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective. That causes them to work together more effectively and smoothly: Conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.
Curiosity is the critical ingredient for inclusion also according to my friend Richard who had asked me then to use the word C.U.R.I.O.U.S. to list the key elements of inclusion.
In this short video I talk about: creativity, integrity, simplicity and more key ingredients of curiosity to improve inclusion.
If you want to boost your curiosity and with it your level of inclusion just do this simple activity: Consider something you are not particularly fond of or that you dislike. Focus on 3 positive features of this activity while you do it. There must be something positive about it. Pay attention to anything you may often ignore or take for granted. Be curious of the world you have within and the world outside of you. Learn and understand the stories you have inside and make a choice to understand others’s stories too.
Now let’s play together. Take the word C.U.R.I.O.U.S. and make your own list of ingredients of inclusion. I would love to hear from you, please share.