“When you approach people with curiosity and humility, they feel validated. They experience your interest in what they think and do and how they do it… They may also share useful or important information with you…” – Rhett Power
EXPLORE | Learning = Success
The author of this article (linked below) suggests that in order to be successful we need to be open to learning, and in order to learn we need to be curious and humble. Getting past ourselves will allow us to ask for and receive the answers we seek, which in turn will result in our acquiring what we need to ‘be and do better.’
I can see curiosity playing a role in our success, but humility? Doesn’t the ‘nice guy’ finish last? How exactly does humility fit into this equation for success?
Humility keeps us from presenting ourselves as prideful “know-it-alls” and allows others to more willingly provide us their insight and perspective. However, Mr. Power is recommending that we use curiosity and humility as tactics for our own benefit. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to learn and grow, but I want to point out that it is should be so much more than a tactic for selfish gain.
When appropriately motivated, humility can have quite a significant impact. It should not be used out of selfish ambition, but for the benefit of building others up–especially at work. That, in addition to our learning more, are probably two of many intended benefits when we exercise the godly characteristic of humility.
You have perhaps heard about, or even employ, active listening, where curiosity and interest shape meaningful questions for the person we’re talking with. Add humility to that and it can be a very beneficial combination when you consider your influence in your current role, not to mention any future role you aspire to. Also keep in mind the impact it can have on your organization, and, even your industry.
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men…” – 2 Corinthians 5:11
EXECUTE | Keeping Curiosity and Humility on Track
In the business world where ‘success at all costs’ is too often expected, genuine curiosity and humility require a concerted effort. Our focus on learning doesn’t excuse us from caring for the person we’re learning from.
Keeping curiosity and humility on track:
Consider the source of our motivation. It really is about ‘why’ we are interested and pursuing understanding. If we are too focused on meeting our needs, we certainly won’t be able to genuinely care for the other person.
Curiosity – Are the right questions being asked of the right person, in the right way? Or are we oozing with self-interest seeking to know something we don’t have any business asking about?
Humility – Since pride comes before a fall, and we don’t want to fall (right?!), are we genuine in our inquiry so as to truly validate the other person?
Beyond just getting out of our own way to better ensure we are able to hear and apply what we need to, the real benefit of genuine, biblical humility is placing the priority on others. If our learning and growing, and method therein, have no positive impact on others, well, then, we’re just plain selfish.
[Original article: why curiosity and humility are critical to success]