Curiosity and empathy are in my view the two characteristics that underpin resilience, underpin and individual’s ability to either ‘bounce back’ or ‘bounce through’ a difficult event or situation.
So for today I am going to focus on ‘being curious’ and what this might mean for people moving forward through difficult times in their career.
Curious: – “Eager to learn; inquisitiveness” – Oxford Illustrated Dictionary
Curious people are open to new possibilities and fresh perspectives. They are perhaps more alert to changes and what they might mean.
It may be that people who have questions are more motivated to go and seek out answers, even if they end up uncovering a whole new set of questions. A big part of being resilient is first accepting the situation you find yourself in and not staying in a place of ‘denial’. Far easier to maintain ‘denial’ if you are not looking ahead, asking questions and seeking answers.
If this applies to you then it seems likely that your curiosity will extend to people and why they act the way they do. You may find that you don’t necessarily take everything at face value, especially if you perceive someone acting out of character in a stressful situation.
Being curious will likely mean you are continually learning in a way that is easy, and natural for you. You will continually be on the lookout for new pieces of information, new ways of doing things, new opportunities and hopefully put yourself in the best place to take advantage of these as they arise.
In times of stress and difficulty your natural curiosity might help you to keep you on an even keel. It is easier to maintain emotional balance and or distance from a situation if you are able to question it. What’s happening here, who can help? What are the implications?
Curiosity can potentially put you in a position of having some control, information and choice within a situation. It can put you ahead of the game. As a career coach when working with people facing redundancy I have observed that the more ‘naturally curious’ people could see the changes coming, ‘the writing on the wall’ and had already started at least planning for them. They had some ideas about what they might do, whilst others were completely ‘shocked’ and almost ‘paralysed’ by the situation. It seemed to take them a little longer to come to terms with the situation and start to move forward.
So, did ‘curiosity really kill the cat?’ I have no idea but it certainly is not going to kill off your career.