After hearing a ton of guest speakers list their top characteristics for potential employees, I heard the same traits over and over. Organized. Motivated. Dependable. Good Work Ethic. Finally, one speaker stood out the most. He said the number one trait he looks for in a possible hire is curiosity. A desire to learn and discover more. He did not want a know it all or someone with a mile long resume, he wanted someone who was begging to discover new knowledge.
Curiosity is important in business because it proves that you always want to learn the next best practice and program available. If you are always innovating, it allows your business to keep growing. Every new invention or discovery starts with the curiosity of one person. This openness to learning also leads members to be more open minded to others ideas. Tunnel vision is thrown out the door because there is never one straight path to come to a conclusion.
If you model curiosity it will encourage your employees to practice this as well. When you see your position in your company defined through your job responsibilities, you leave no room for growth or exploration. Encourage employees to ask questions and engage with new material. Getting a little uncomfortable and trying something different will push yourself to grow. Do not be afraid to simply ask “Why”. If you want to learn, have someone explain it to you. Admitting you do not know something is not admitting defeat, it is giving yourself an opportunity to learn something new.
The previous Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, said. “We run this company on questions, not answers.” Ask questions, be open, seek new information. Be curious not only about internal business practices, but things happening in the world. Forcing yourself to absorb new information will only benefit you.