Curiosity may have killed the cat…(as the saying goes)…
But it won’t kill you!
Quite the opposite in fact.
For event professionals, curiosity is a life force of sorts…an energizing driver required to fuel our insatiable desire to make things bigger and better next time.
Did you know that curiosity is a “use it or lose it” attribute? Let it run free and exercise it often…or slip into that sad and utterly desolate state of
Ok maybe a little. But seriously…it’s not far from the truth.
It’s not hard to lapse into accepting the status quo. After all, if it’s working why change anything right? Often it’s our demanding schedules that dictate a lack of time to investigate or chase something new.
But if you exercise your curious mind all the time and remain constantly open to the possibilities, there is no telling what new and exciting ideas you will generate or where they will lead.
Curiosity by definition is: A strong desire to know or learn something
Curiosity (CQ) is more than ever being recognized as an important measure of success along with intellectual (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ). Employers are increasingly interested in the hobbies and “other interest” sections of a resume to gage a candidate’s interest in continuous learning and to seeking new challenges.
A person’s “curiosity quotient” or “CQ” concerns whether he or she has a hungry mind, explains Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic in his blog article “Curiosity Is as Important as Intelligence” for the Harvard Business Review. “People with higher CQ are more inquisitive and open to new experiences. They find novelty exciting and are quickly bored with routine. They tend to generate many original ideas and are counter-conformist.”
With this explanation we can easily connect why curiosity is so important in the events business.
So if it’s possible to nurture and expand your curiosity, just how do you go about that? Here are some ideas:
- Read. Anything and everything. Yes read for pleasure but also make a point of reading to learn. Read a business book. Or a book about a subject that interests you…whales or organic cooking or a biography. The idea is to keep your mind active and open to new concepts and ideas.
- Fuel your creativity. We all have unique sources of inspiration for our creative minds. Whether it’s nature or art or music or meditation, make time to nurture your creative spirit. Identify and explore what ignites that creative state in you and learn to tap into it. It is often in that creative mindset when we are most open and curious and energized.
- Dig deeper. And keep asking “why”. All to often we are inundated with so much information that it’s hard not to just skim the surface on any subject. Make a point of finding out more. If you are using the Internet for research, look beyond the first article on the first page. Really curious people keep looking for more. If you are reviewing your event and attendance was up…first celebrate…and then ask why. If it’s because more people came in the morning…ask why. Keep digging and you might be surprised and elated with what you find.
- Seek out new challenges. If you believe you can do something you are probably right. Find new opportunities at work. Put together a case to take to the boss and sell it to them. Find new ways to make a contribution. Don’t sit and wait for someone else to give you the opportunity. Carve it out for yourself. Learn everything you can to make it happen.
- Learn about businesses or industries other than your own. You will be surprised at what you discover that may be applicable to what you do or provide a solution to a problem you have struggled with. Start with your friends that are not in your industry. Ask them questions about their business. People love to share and it’s a way to expand your learning.
- Listen. Really listen. At meetings, during one-on-one conversations, at a seminar. Really listen to what is being said. This will encourage you to truly understand another point of view. It will also encourage you to want to know more and ask thoughtful and sincere questions.
- Consciously observe. When you attend other events (of all kinds), be present and make a point of observing and taking in everything…even the small things. Colours, signs, atmosphere. Be open to new ideas. The event doesn’t have to be exactly like yours. Ideas are everywhere.
- Do what inspires you on a regular basis. Is it music or the movies or lunch with friends or yoga or volunteering? Doesn’t matter what it is, if it inspires you do it. That state of inspiration can help you conger up all kinds of new ideas.
- Travel. It doesn’t even have to be exotic or far. (Although that’s always awesome!) Be an explorer! Visit a town near by and see what it has to offer. Take a weekend trip somewhere you normally wouldn’t. Changing your surroundings is a great way to shake off the “same-old” mentality.
- Use brainteaser games and puzzles to keep your mind active and alert. There are lots of options on the Internet. Challenging your mind encourages new ways of thinking and problem solving.
- Step out of your comfort zone. This is the greatest way ever to keep an open mind and exercise your curiosity. Big or small it doesn’t matter…skydive, or listen to music that you normally wouldn’t. Try tasting or cooking something new, try salsa dancing, strike up a conversation with a stranger at a conference, go to an event that you might otherwise avoid, try painting, write a blog! Push yourself and explore the possibilities.
Seeking new experiences and a sense of discovery comes very naturally to some. But it can easily be cultivated too.
Curiosity encourages continuous learning that in turn leads to an open mind. The more open your mind the more room there is for great new ideas to flood in.
Here’s to a wondrous and curiosity filled day!
How do you exercise your curiosity?
Post by Margaret Johnston, eventswork.com
With over 25 years of experience, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.