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Guiding principles #8 - Curiosity

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

This eighth and final blog in my 'Guiding Principles' series is based on previous post entitled 'curiosity did not kill the cat...', where I introduced the notion of curiosity as one of my core principles.

Interestingly, curiosity has since evolved as one of the core themes from my PhD research; a behaviour or trait (depending on what scientific stance you like to adopt) that was evident in each of the great leaders whom I worked with for my research. They were all inherently curious about themselves and about others, and all had a passion for learning and helping others find the best version of themselves.

Through my researcher lens, and being acutely aware of unconscious bias (particularly in this case confirmation bias), I can't help be curious about this apparent coincidence. How I see the world will of course affect how I research...I just wonder how far this applies?

Anyway, back to what curiosity means for me.

I guess at heart, I just love to learn. I am always intrigued by how things work or why people make certain choices. I am interested in the stories people have to tell and what we can all learn from the experiences of others. So interested, in fact, that this is the basis of my ongoing PhD...which I WILL be completing and handing in in around 2 months time! Fundamentally I have a passion for learning and discovering, and am always asking 'why?' and 'how?'. I like to think that I have somehow managed to keep hold of the two-year old me who constantly pestered anyone who would listen with those very questions.

CURIOSITY...for me this means that:

"I am genuinely interested in understanding more about why things work or happen and what motivates others to do what they do. I am driven to discover more about people, places, plans and processes and love to learn new things, or to think about things in different ways.

I am hungry to explore new territories and theories and am always curious to know what sits behind an idea or particular choice. I will seek out, and listen to, the stories that other people have to tell and enjoy spending time helping them to understand why those stories are important.

I will always ask ‘why?’, even when the answer may at first seem obvious, and I have a thirst for trying to understand why and how things work, or don’t work.”

My commitment to bringing this to life through all that I do is that I will:

Make good choices and decisions based on what I believe – even when those choices are not easy

Accept when there is something that I cannot change or influence

Be willing to ‘show up’ and be myself, however I am feeling

Not being afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘this is not right for me’

Not forget my dreams and what is important to me, even when the going gets tough

Recognise when I need to take a step back and allow others to lead and explore

Sometimes say ‘no, not yet…’

And most of all I promise to never stop asking 'why?' or 'how?' and I will always be interested in the stories that you have to tell.

If you have a story you'd like to share, or just fancy swapping stories over coffee, then drop me an email to arrange 'coffee and conversation'.

And remember...curiosity did not kill the cat!

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