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Why Curiosity Matters

Reduced group conflict

Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

Thus, conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why Curiosity Matters

Why Curiosity Matters

https://hbr.org/2018/09/curiosity

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives

When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are wrong) and to stereotyping people (making broad judgments).

Curiosity and innovation

Encouraging people to be curious generates workplace improvements.

When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.

Reduced group conflict

Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

Thus, conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.

How to strengthen curiosity at work

  1. Hire for curiosity. Identify naturally curious people through interview questions and tests.
  2. Model inquisitiveness. Leaders can encourage curiosity throughout their organizations by being inquisitive themselves.
  3. Emphasize learning goals. Framing work around learning goals rather than performance boosts motivation.
  4. Let employees explore and broaden their interests.
  5. To support curiosity, encourage people to ask good questions.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. "

Albert Einstein
Curiosity declines with age

Children are extremely curious. They keep asking, "why?" and explore new things just because they want to know.

But research shows that during the schooling years, curiosity steadily declines, and as adults, we fall into fixed and convenient thought patterns.

The mechanics of curiosity

Research around curiosity found that children at age 5 scored 98% on a creativity test. When the same children took the test at age 10, only 30% scored well on the test. By age 15, only 12% of the same children did well. Less than 2% of adults are defined as creative based on their answer to this standardised test.

Science suggests this decrease in curiosity could be caused when we feel there's no gap between what we know and what we want to know, so we just stop being curious.

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Curiosity
Curiosity

It is the recognition, pursuit, and desire to explore novel, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous events.

The 5 dimensions that define curiosity
  • Joyous exploration: I view challenging situations as an opportunity to grow and learn.
  • Deprivation sensitivity: I like to try to solve problems that puzzle me.
  • Stress tolerance: The smallest doubt can stop me from seeking out new experiences.
  • Social curiosity: Social curiosity: I like to learn about the habits of others. I like finding out why people behave the way they do.
  • Thrill-seeking: The anxiety of doing something new makes me feel excited and alive. Risk-taking is exciting to me.
4 types of "curious" people
  1. The Fascinated – they score high on all dimensions of curiosity, particularly joyous exploration.
  2. Problem Solvers – score high on deprivation sensitivity, and are midrange for other dimensions.
  3. Empathizers – score high on social curiosity, midrange on other dimensions and much lower on stress tolerance and thrill-seeking.
  4. Avoiders – score low on all dimensions, particularly stress tolerance.
Curiosity: The Key To a Happy Life
Curiosity: The Key To a Happy Life

The key to a long, happy and successful life is to be like a river, everflowing and curious. One has to keep learning new things and keep innovating.

Staying an eternal st...

The Enemy of Curiosity: Busyness

If one is too busy, the gates of curiosity, wonder and serendipity become forever closed. We have to take time out to do something new, exploring life, and what all it has to offer.

Our desk job followed by our home responsibilities will rob us of a good life if we are too busy to be curious.

Curiosity Keeps Life Novel

Life is about the new, and curiosity keeps life novel. Doing new things, learning new stuff and innovating in your field of interest.

Doing things that you are curious about will make your life full of joy, giving you a long, satisfying life experience.

Motivation to learn

We have an impressive ability to learn, but our motivation to do so tends to decrease with age:

  • As children, we are naturally curious and free to explore the world around us. ...
Knowledge and expertise

In this digital age, knowledge and expertise have been devalued.

What you know is now less relevant than what you can learn, and employers are less interested in hiring people with particular expertise than with the general ability to develop the right expertise in the future.

Access to information

When we can all retrieve the same information, the key differentiator is not access to data, but the ability to make use of it, the capacity to translate the available information into useful knowledge.

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Perceptual curiosity
Perceptual curiosity

The curiosity we feel when something surprises us or when something doesn’t quite agree with what we know or think we know.

That is felt as an unpleasant state, as an adve...

Epistemic curiosity

This is a pleasurable state associated with an anticipation of reward.

That’s our level of knowledge. That’s what drives all scientific research. It drives many artworks. It drives education and other things like that.

The genetic component of curiosity

Most psychological traits, and curiosity is no exception, have a genetic component to them.

The fact that some people are much more curious than others largely has to do with their genetics. But, as in all cases, genetics is never the whole story.

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4 kinds of behavior
4 kinds of behavior

... account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness:

  • Solving problems effectively;
  • Operating with a strong results orientation;
  • Seeking different perspectives;
Effective problem solving

Problem-solving - when information is gathered, analyzed, and considered. 

Difficult to get right, yet this process is a key input into decision making, for both major issues and daily ones.

Results orientation
Leadership is about not only developing and communicating a vision and setting objectives but also following through to achieve results. 

Leaders with a strong results orientation tend to emphasize the importance of efficiency and productivity and to prioritize the highest-value work.

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Inspiration alone is not enough
Inspiration alone is not enough

Just as leaders who deliver only performance may do so at a cost that the organization is unwilling to bear, those who focus only on inspiration may find that they motivate the masses but a...

Inspiring leaders

The leaders that inspire are those who use a personal combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions and to hold them accountable for results.

And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not thorough command and control.

Becoming an Inspiring Leader
  • You only need centeredness: a state of mindfulness that enables leaders to remain calm under stress, empathize, listen deeply, and remain present.
  • Your key strength has to match how your organization creates value.
  • You have to behave differently if you want your employees to do so.
The successful interdisciplinary team

The key to creating innovative solutions is to bring together a diverse group of people to tackle every project from Day 1.

Having an interdisciplinary team with varying skills and kno...

Leave room for real dialogue

Interdisciplinary teams have to leave room so that real work can get done. Because they have multiple projects, they try to limit the loss of brainpower by working for days together on one project instead of jumping between tasks.

Working together in this way ensures that people know everything that is going on, and this allows for debate and questioning that comes with bringing diverse thinkers together.

‘Psychologically safe’ environment

Successful teams allow for mistakes. The team members feel safe to be as creative as possible.

Every aspect can be re-engineered to allow for internal team feedback, allowing the team to self-manage, and for the team to know that their individual successes are meaningfully linked to the success of the group.

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Mindsets in leaders

Mindsets drive what leaders do and why they do it. 

Two different leaders might face the same situation but respond to it very differently. One leader might see the case as threatenin...

Growth and Fixed Mindsets

A growth mindset is a belief that anyone can change their talents, abilities, and intelligence. Those with a growth mindset:

  • take on challenges
  • take advantage of feedback
  • use the most effective problem-solving strategies
  • provide developmental feedback
  • is persistent in accomplishing goals

Conversely, those with a fixed mindset believe that talents, abilities and intelligence can't be improved.

Learning and Performance Mindsets

Leaders with a learning mindset are motivated to increase their competence and master something new.

A performance mindset desires to gain favorable judgments about competence and avoid negative judgements.

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