How often do you judge someone instead of being curious? Is saying “I wonder” or “why” a common part of your conversations or internal dialogue?
Studies show that while we are all born with a curious mind, it tends to peak at age five and diminishes over time. Most of us enjoy clarity over uncertainty. Also, with increasing age comes more knowledge, but this can get in the way of curiosity.
Why does it matter? Research supports great benefits to curiosity for our happiness, relationships, innovation, and even for our health!
So how do we become more curious and avoid rushing to judgement?
First acknowledge the value of curiosity. Then start small by pausing and consider how to be more curious in a particular situation. Shift the language, asking more open-ended questions and incorporating more of “I wonder” and “I’m curious about” phrases in those conversations. Another strategy is to adopt a lens of intellectual humility, understanding that while we may know quite a bit about something, we may not know everything.
Cultivating curiosity increases collaboration, innovation, and understanding and ultimately allows us to embrace the fact that growth and learning are essential parts of life.
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