What is “curiosity,” and why is it so dangerous that it killed the cat? And then there was Curious George who was always getting into trouble by being curious (though he always got back out of it too)? Is curiosity, then, a bad thing?
Curiosity is “the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness.” (Dictionary.com) This actually sounds like a good thing (in moderation and being politically correct, of course). In fact, perhaps it can be observed that the day we start on the long slide towards old age and death is the day we stop having an inquisitive mind and a strong curiosity and interest in people and things.
Many healthcare professionals and their staff put on their “social mask” in the morning and politely ask the patient or client, “How are you?” and so on. But there is no real, genuine interest in the person. That is just social politeness. On the other side, the most admired and well liked people are often the ones who show a sincere and strong interest in you and are genuinely inquisitive.
Is this a skill you can learn?
Is this a trait we are born with or is it a skill that can be developed? Find out for yourself by giving it a test. Decide at the beginning of the day that this is going to be “Curiosity Day” and decide to REALLY FIND OUT something interesting about each person you meet and talk to that day. Watch the reactions of the people you do this with – notice how they blossom with the attention and interest you are showing in them!!
As the owner of a practice, showing genuine interest and care in your staff can have the result of them shining like superstars. Likewise, believe it or not, practice owners also blossom when staff are genuinely interested in them. People in general like the attention and, unless severely aberrated, will open up and communicate more freely with you.
Similarly, the patients or clients of your practice will open up when you ask them about themselves and their concerns, interests, etc. This doesn’t mean that you want to start a long conversation that makes you run late on your appointments, however; a little of this can go a long way though. This genuine interest can set you a notch above other doctors they have gone to or could go to.
Anyway, try out a Curiosity Day, and if it works for you, have more of them and then eventually Curiosity Weeks and then eventually, just live your life that way.
Be a Curious George and enjoy the heck out of people. The more life and interest you put into others, the more life and interest you too will feel!
It’s not too late to make this a year to remember!