Eight tips to boost curiosity within your team

An organization in which teams share good ideas, want to improve and innovate and communicate openly. Isn’t that what we all want? You need a good dose of curiosity in your team for that. Below you will find eight tips to value and stimulate curiosity in your team.

Underline the importance of curiosity within your team during recruitment and selection

Tip 1: Select team members by curiosity

A few years ago, a calculation on a mysterious anonymous billboard on Highway 101 in America caught the attention of a certain group of people: the curious kind. The handful of people who then solved the second problem were allowed to interview at Google. This ‘vacancy text’ is a smart move by the internet giant. Because stimulating curiosity within an organization starts with attracting particularly curious people, such as people with the Belbin team roles Source Researcher and Monitor.

Look for clues to someone’s curiosity

Tip 2: Ask specific questions

Fortunately, unpacking on a large scale as Google did is not necessary per se. For example, during a job interview you can ask about the candidate’s hobbies and interests. Ask what he or she adds to his or her current team. Is this someone who has an open and curious outlook on life and who enjoys inventing, learning and discovering new things? Then the curious character is already in it. And give them work-relevant assignments in which they can properly display their curiosity.

And pay attention not only to the candidate’s answers, but also to the questions she or he asks you.

Encourage curiosity in your teamwork

Tip 3: Set a good example

It is often said that exemplary behavior is the only form of top-down strategy that actually works. Leaders can encourage curiosity within their team or organization by leading by example. When Greg Dyke was hired as CEO at the British BBC, he spent five months wondering: what can I do for my employees? By continuing to ask questions yourself and listening with genuine interest , you can set the tone in your team or organization for more curiosity.

Tip 4: Encourage continuing to set learning goals

When we’re under pressure, we often tend to go for the option right in front of us. While those of us with a passion for continued learning consider a wider range of options and perspectives. People with what Carol Dweck and others call a growth mindset do that.

Research by the same Carol Dweck shows that framing work around learning goals (developing competencies, learning new skills, stepping out of your comfort zone, etc.) rather than around performance goals (achieving goals, proving ourselves, impressing others) increases motivation. boosts. And when we feel motivated by our learning goals, we develop more diverse competencies, we do better at work, we achieve better results at school and we think more solution-oriented.

Tip 5: Reward the learning instead of the achievement

As a leader, you can play an important role in the success of your team or organization by helping your colleagues adopt a growth mindset. Communicating the power of continuous learning and rewarding people: not for their performance, but for the learning that was necessary to achieve that performance.

Tip 6: Let people discover and broaden their interests

You don’t suddenly wake up in the morning with a good dose of curiosity. This is a process that takes time. Executives sometimes do not want to invest in extra training for their employees because they are afraid that they will use it for a better job elsewhere and they will lose the money from their investment. Research shows that if employees are given the opportunity to follow their curiosity and interests, they not only remain curious, but also become more confident about what they can achieve. This makes them more successful in their work. Therefore, as an organization, foster their curiosity by giving employees time and resources to pursue their interests. Give them space when looking for innovative approaches.

Tip 7: Work on a psychologically safe environment

Curiosity is an important engine for an organization’s learning capacity. To dare to ask questions, to share their concerns and ideas, people need a psychologically safe environment. Because otherwise they won’t be able to resist what Amy Edmondson calls the suction of silence. A psychologically safe environment does not just happen: it has to be continuously worked on. In the first place by managers.

Tip 8: Organize ‘Why-How-What Days’

It is important that managers teach their employees how to ask good questions. Therefore, organize Why-How-What days where the team is stimulated to ask the right questions when faced with a challenge. Why-How-What questions are about the goals and plans of your team or organization. Why do we exist as a team or organization…? How do we show clearly what we contribute…? What… is needed for that? Discuss and evaluate all the questions asked and reward the best questions by hanging them on the wall.

In this way, you awaken curiosity within the organization and your colleagues find out how they can use curiosity to work together with more pleasure and success.

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