What A Great Asset Curiosity Can Be!


“Curiosity killed the cat,” or so the saying goes. Perhaps that saying has given curiosity a bad rap! Discouraging further inquiry was the intent behind that phrase – after all, gaining certain information just might lead to trouble!

Another perspective on the saying “curiosity killed the cat” is that being a nosy busybody may ultimately lead to your demise.

Either way, contrary to the saying, curiosity is actually a great asset when you are curious about…

  1. Yourself – Who you are, how you feel, and what makes you tick.
  2. Others – Who they are, how they feel, and what makes them tick.
  3. Your World – It’s a vast and wonderful world out there – so much to discover and learn!
  4. The interconnectedness between of all of the above!

Curiosity is a prerequisite for learning, growing, developing, discovering, innovating, connecting with others, and so much more! No matter what your role in life or work is, curiosity is beneficial! When you stop being curious – that’s you become stuck!

Merriam Webster defines CURIOSITY this way:

Curiosity is a way of being, a desire, a zest for understanding. I like how neuroscientist Charan Ranganath describes curiosity as “an itch.” Curiosity is something you almost can’t stop yourself from having!

While asking questions is one of the many ways we scratch the itch of curiosity, it’s so much more that. Curiosity is about wondering, dreaming, and pondering “what if” or “what could be.”

It’s about learning a little and realizing there is a whole lot more to discover!

Don’t Miss This Side of Curiosity

Curiosity naturally propels you forward, beyond, and into uncharted territory, so in a sense, bravery is intertwined with curiosity. The willingness to question what you’ve deemed “to be” and to explore what’s outside of your comfort zone is bold and brave!

If there was an ambassador for curiosity, I would vote for Curious George, and I’m pretty sure my grandsons would too! While his curiosity always gets him into trouble, ultimately his curiosity leads to a very happy conclusion!

Waning Curiosity

Sadly, as we grow older and imagine ourselves to be wiser, curiosity wanes. Curiosity requires space, and as adults our many responsibilities and packed schedules crowd out the space curiosity needs to germinate. But pause with me for just a moment…really pause!

Now Consider…

What could it look like if you allowed yourself space to be curious?

And perhaps even more importantly, how might that curiosity prove an asset in your life and work?

What if curiosity was the path to advancing your career? Enhancing your relationships? Or making life that much more fruitful?

I hope I’ve made you itch a little!

Cultivating Curiosity

If you are even a little intrigued by the idea of cultivating more curiosity, here are some ways to do that:

1. Be Present

Being present is about focusing 100% in this moment right where you are. No multitasking, being preoccupied by your phone, or other distractions. It’s about tuning into your feelings and the beauty around you. Really noticing all that this moment has to offer; that’s when you will naturally make observations that spark your curiosity. You’ll be surprised at all the interesting facets of life you’ve been missing in your distracted state!

2. Listen

Pump up your listening skills. Make an effort to listen with the intent to discover and learn. Fight the desire to judge. Challenge your assumptions. Really listen. Get more comfortable with silence – resist the urge to jump in. Listening is an art! A skill worth practicing!

3. Engage in New Adventures

Engaging in new activities naturally sparks your curiosity. It might be participating in a new experience, trying a new restaurant, a taking up a new hobby or game.

What if you were to experiment with switching up your morning or evening routine? Or how you go about seeking new clients, or leading your meetings? There are so many ways to bring new to what you do!

4. Be OK With Not Knowing

You don’t have to have all the answers! In fact, most people would rather avoid a know-it-all. It’s alright to admit what you don’t know. Most will appreciate your authenticity, and they will be freed up to admit what they don’t know as well. It’s the perfect set up for being an enthusiastic learner.

Being innovative, whether you are a leader, professional, entrepreneur, or none of the above, requires exploring ideas and inviting the input of others. If you aren’t comfortable with being perceived as not knowing something, it will prohibit you from seeking out help or taking suggestions from others. It may also keep you from taking risks and/or experimenting.

5. Maintain Margin

Running from activity to activity is sure to zap your curiosity! Curiosity requires space to pause, explore, reflect; time where you mind is able to wander. That’s margin! The extra space between activities, that buffer, allows you the chance to breathe and get curious.

Being empathetic hinges on your ability to listen (#2), truly care about others, and be able to put yourself in another person’s shoes. In order to do that you need wiggle room in your life so that you are able to actually see and notice the people around you.

6. Challenge the Status Quo

It’s no mystery – if you keep doing the same old thing you’ll get the same old results. If you want better results, then get curious! Ask powerful questions that challenge the status quo and encourage you to consider fresh perspectives.

If you are a leader, new possibilities, positive changes, and breakthroughs happen when you invite your people to get curious and explore what is possible rather than just accepting how it’s always been. What if your people had permission to challenge and experiment?

7. Leading With A Long-term View

Leading with a short-term view is considering what people have to offer you right now. Utilizing your people’s strengths isn’t a bad thing. It’s a necessary thing.

A long-term view, on the other hand, requires a bit more curiosity! It’s about taking an interest in your people beyond this moment and inquiring about their goals, dreams, struggles, etc. so that you are able to help them move in a direction best for them not just to for you. Who doesn’t want to team up with someone who is on their side?

Advocating for your people in this way will positively impact your relationships with those you lead and it enables them to do what they are excited about which will ultimately benefit the organization.

8. Focus on the Possibilities

Every challenge is an opportunity to focus on the problems or the possibilities. Which way do you naturally gravitate?

What if you were to exercise your curiosity muscle and explore all the many possible solutions? Imagine what that shot of curiosity might lead to! No doubt, solutions you would have previously overlooked will surface!

Beware…dwelling on difficulties and making excuses require zero creativity!

9. Ask Questions!

Not just any questions, but open-ended questions that prompt people to think and share. Learn more about how to make your questions more powerful here.

Your questions are sure to take you down some very interesting rabbit trails!

As you ask more curious questions, others will notice and follow your example.

10. Hang Out with Kids

Young children are naturally curious! I would venture to say they ask at least a thousand questions a day, and you hope they sleep at least a good portion of it!

It’s just one of the many things I adore about spending time with my soon to be 8, grands. They are inquisitive!!!

11. READ!

As an avid read I’m constantly bumping into new ideas, new words, and exploring places I’ve never been. Oh, how that fuels my curiosity!

Movies podcasts, and other forms or art are also a great way to stimulate your curiosity.

As you’ve been absorbing these practical ways to becoming more curious, you’ve probably noticed two powerful things: Curiosity IS an asset and that you might need to make a few changes! You may need to slow down, be more mindful, and/or do less. That’s a big shift! And it’s worth it! Curiosity is sure to infuse your life and work with a zest that truly enhances your them!

How might curiosity prove to be an asset for you?

© Can Stock Photo / tobkatrina

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.


  1. April on November 8, 2017 at 7:40 am

    I like this prod to cultivate curiosity –it’s a sad thing to see “old” people with little curiosity left about life and others and yet if I don’t deliberately foster it, I suspect I would end up in that boat as well. Asking more questions seems like a great place to start!

    • Marvae on November 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Like you, I don’t want to find my level of curiosity shrinking as I get older. Being deliberate is key! I’m tickled that you liked my “prod.” Happy getting more curious April and embracing that anti-aging technique!

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