Curiosity Frees the Cat

Discover the power of curiosity in personal growth and leadership with insights on seeking diverse perspectives, questioning assumptions, and dismantling systems of misinformation for a more inclusive society.

Cat laying in the grass gazing at a butterfly. Pexels | Photo by Pixabay

Being a curious person, I am always hungry to learn and know more.

Curiosity is a powerful tool. It can help you dive into the hidden depths of yourself and help you identify your strengths and the challenges you face in your personal leadership philosophy. It is so powerful that it can combat racism, sexism, ableism, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-Semitic sentiments. By embracing curiosity, you allow yourself to step outside your own experience and perspective and gain a deeper understanding of the lives and experiences of others. This can lead to a greater sense of compassion and empathy and, ultimately, create a more inclusive and equitable society.

When we understand the lived experiences, challenges, obstacles, and opportunities experienced by others, we can see the similarity and differences in our own lives. This knowledge also strengthens our ability to be effective leaders.

One way to embrace curiosity is to seek out diverse perspectives, which is a deepening of what you already know and understand; and exploring cultures, philosophies, and beliefs that are not part of your lived experiences or background. This can be done by reading books, watching documentaries and films, and listening to podcasts by authors, directors, and creators from different backgrounds. It can also involve engaging with people from different backgrounds in an open-minded and respectful way so that you can ask curious questions and gain personal and individual insight. By hearing different perspectives and understanding experiences unlike our own, we can challenge our own biases and assumptions and gain a more nuanced understanding of the world.

Another way to embrace curiosity is to question our own assumptions and stereotypes that seem like “the acceptable norm.” Implicit bias lives within us all, but we may not be aware of it and may reject the idea of it. When we question our assumptions, we can begin to address them. This can involve self-reflection, seeking out feedback from others, and actively challenging our biases and beliefs, which are often validated by the people around us, whether true or not.

Embracing curiosity can involve actively working to dismantle systems of misinformation and oppression. This can include educating oneself on issues of racism, sexism, ableism, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-Semitic views and taking action to address them. This can consist of supporting and amplifying the voices of these communities, volunteering in organizations that work to address these issues, and actively working to create a more inclusive and equitable society while still embracing core aspects of ourselves and the cultures we come from.

Being curious and open to learning from our mistakes is also important. We all make mistakes. We all have moments of unawareness, but it’s important to own up to them and be willing to learn from them. It is also important to be open to feedback from these communities, as they are often the experts on their own experiences.

When we embrace curiosity as a powerful tool for growth and understanding, we can decrease negative or erroneous ideas. By seeking out diverse perspectives, questioning our own assumptions, and actively working to dismantle oppressive systems, we can gain a deeper understanding of the experiences and perspectives of others and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society or deepening our understanding of our own day-to-day lives.

How curious are you? How does curiosity help you be a better leader? What insights have you learned by following your curious thoughts?

DEBORAH BLAKE DEMPSEY, MS is the CEO & Founder of Human Being Human, LLC. Deborah is a Life Strategist & Transformational Coach, Writer, and Speaker. She is the author of The Hoppernots, an uplifting, can-do story about amphibians and other forest dwellers coming together to defeat a common enemy and is told within a diverse ecosystem teeming with life and purpose. Her mission is to engage healthcare and corporate leaders at all levels to fulfill their greatness in their professional and personal lives by helping them understand their motivational drivers, define their purpose, find their voice, and develop their potential. She brings to her coaching more than 25 years of experience as a healthcare leader, having held strategic, financial, and operational leadership roles in physician practices, academic hospitals, and for-profit healthcare settings. Deborah is particularly interested in working with leaders struggling with self-confidence, professional identity, and facing burnout.

She holds an MS in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.