Stay Curious Longer: Having the Humility to Slow Down
This week, we’re diving into our first value:
STAY CURIOUS LONGER
Inquire and interrogate. Humility fosters learning. Failure promotes innovation.
Great questions even over good answers.
This value is a “practice what you preach” opportunity for us here at Box of Crayons. It’s not enough to help organizations transform from advice-driven to curiosity-led. We need to nurture it in our company too: structurally, in our team meetings and interactions and in our individual work. We think embracing this value acknowledges the importance of curiosity in developing the capabilities — like connection, empathy, resilience and innovation — that will help us do our great work.
In the reflection below, Box of Crayons’ Marketing Coordinator, Carolyn Reimer, shares how this value shows up in her personal life.
I think I’m a pretty curious person. I’m a lover of learning and have been a teacher. I always have one or two books on the go, I’m an avid traveler and invest in really great conversations. You know, the kind that bypasses the annoying small talk and gets to the things that really matter: big ideas, deep feelings, important issues …
I had a one-on-one chat with someone recently. Let’s call this person “Chris”. We were both busy, and this was a chance for us to connect, take a breath and check in with each other.
“What’s on your mind, Chris?”
Chris proceeded to tell me everything that was going on in their life right now, including the incredible stress they were under with juggling life and work and home-schooling kids during our provincial lockdown due to COVID-19. It felt immense, and it wasn’t even my direct experience.
I jumped in. “Chris! That’s a LOT. Seriously, you should lob some of those work things over the fence to the rest of your team.”
My empathy was in overdrive. I really wanted to make sure Chris felt supported and to ease some of their stress.
I felt pretty good about myself for offering a place for Chris to share and for my empathic response. I was even willing and able to take on some of the work. Go me!
But Chris had more to say. There was all the stuff about pressure from people higher up. And more things about how hard it was to manage the kids’ schooling and activities. And then deeper feelings of being pulled in different directions and of overwhelm, with no clear sense of when things were going to ease up.
I was becoming increasingly aware that my suggestion was actually inadequate to the situation.