The article, “The Most Important Skill at the Office Isn’t Being Taught in School” (it’s curiosity) stuck out to me not only because of the focus on curiosity, but I believe in the inaccuracy of the title. From my perspective, I have seen more of a discussion in schools on having students ask great questions not just find answers, which is crucial to curiosity.
That being said, there are some powerful thoughts from the post on why curiosity is so important:
Curiosity leads to innovation.
Although curiosity often isn’t cultivated, it offers plenty of benefits for employees, leaders and businesses. One of the biggest is innovation. In her article in the Harvard Business Review, Gino pointed to research that shows that an increase in curiosity leads to an increase in creativity.
That then leads to innovation, improvements in the workplace and better solutions to problems. After all, if it weren’t for people’s desire to question and explore, iconic innovations that are part of daily life now wouldn’t exist.
Curiosity contributes to better performance.
Studies show that curiosity can increase worker productivity, not decrease it, said executive coach and career strategist Elizabeth Koraca. One study of 120 employees by Gino found that natural curiosity was associated with better job performance evaluations from supervisors.
Curiosity fosters better communication.
While working with executives in a leadership program at Harvard Kennedy School, Gino divided participants into groups. Some groups were given a task to increase their curiosity. Those participants performed better than the control group because they had shared more information and listened better to each other. Having good communication skills like these can improve your chances of getting a higher paying job.
Curiosity helps reduce conflict.
When people are curious, they’re more likely to see things from other people’s points of view rather than just their own, Gino found in her research. As a result, curious people tend work better with others and have fewer conflicts.
Curiosity can lead to better solutions.
Gino has found that curiosity can help both employees and supervisors adapt to uncertainty. Being curious forces us to give more thought to decisions and come up with creative remedies rather than default to the simplest solution to problems, she said in the Harvard Business Review.
I encourage you to read the whole article.
My question is that if curiosity leads to improvements in the areas in the business world (innovation, better performance, better communication, reduce conflict, and better solutions) would they do the same for our students in our classroom?
Will Richardson really pushed my thinking when he challenged that “curiosity” is the most important “C” but not necessarily listed in the 4C’s although curiosity is vital in all aspects.
More schools are focusing on developing this than ever, and by fostering this curiosity, we will not only prepare students who are asking better questions, but more importantly, finding solutions to questions we have not asked ourselves. That has a world progresses forward.
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