Curiosity Cures Co-Worker Disconnect

Curiosity is bravery in the form of a question. -@KarenZeigler tweet

Curiosity is the shortest distance between you and another

I’m all too familiar with the feeling of disconnection. I am an introvert. Indeed my love of working solo is a disconnection from others in and of itself. I truly enjoy my alone time and always ensure it’s on my calendar.  Honestly, I get pretty grumpy when I don’t have enough of it. However, we can find ourselves disconnected from our co-workers for many reasons.  For example, different personalities, disagreements, age differences, location, and technology are just a few causes of disconnection.

Luckily there is a powerfully effective way to bridge the gap – it’s called curiosity. I’ve heard it said that curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.  And I love these curiosity quotes from two successful people.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. -Albert Einstein tweet

Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those that are simply going through the motions. –Tony Robbins tweet

The way to be successful, alive and connected is to be curious

As a little kid being curious was easy. A childs curiosity reveals itself in an endless litany of the question why? It’s quite annoying after a while to be on the receiving end of the never-ending why. For this reason, we want to elaborate on what it means to be curious. Below are seven thoughts on being more curious to bridge the disconnect between ourselves and others at work.

C – Care to Connect

When we actually care about people, we make an effort not an excuse.  Caring not only connects us but it also brings a kinder humanity view to the workplace. Often, work can be a  passionless place filled with talk of profits and proposals. Caring brings color to an often drab environment.

U – Understand

Seek to understand more than just their viewpoint. Underneath their viewpoint is painful past experiences, knowledge from other jobs, wisdom from their life. It’s important to dig deeper to understand more than their viewpoint.

R – Remove obstacles

Often times our work environment is hectic and full of interruptions. Removing barriers is key to being openly curious and being available to care. Find a chance to connect. Take your co-worker to lunch, ride to a meeting or find another way to spend time together and be curious.

I – eliminate “I”

In general, we are a pretty self-focused species. Therefore it is important to be intentional about eliminating the “I.” It’s not about you uncovering something that will help you win the disagreement or have the upper hand in any way. The only “I” in curiosity that leads to connection is “what can I learn from my co-worker.” As a result of learning from them, we appreciate them more. And appreciation leads to greater connection.

O – remain Open

It’s important to realize that a curious conversation to connect is an open discussion. Open to learning more about the other person. Open to learning about what they think, how they feel and why they think and feel the way that they do.

U – Understand more

Often times our ego can butt in with its own list of questions. Questions that are rooted in fear and seek to project judgment, separation or differences in a negative light.  Being aware of those questions and understanding that a curious conversation for connection is about finding common ground.

S – Straight forward

Similar to the bravery of a kid to ask “why?” about anything and anywhere, curiosity requires our willingness to be straightforward. Curiosity is bravery in the form of a question.

Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow

Take a few moments and reflect on the people you work with.

  1. Make a list of the top three people you feel a disconnect with or would like to enjoy a greater connection. This can be co-workers, customers, vendors or anyone you deal with in your job.
  2. Take a few moments to review your upcoming interactions with those individuals.  When can you make intentional time with them to have a curious conversation?
  3. Remember to journal your experience and what you learned in your curious conversations.

 

 

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