I am a curious person. I always have been. I am curious about people, nature, human interactions, just about anything.
When I look at the people in my life they tend to also be curious. These people help me look at things in new ways. They are the people I call when I am curious about another perspective.
Recently I have been struggling with a group that I am in. We are all in a class and need to finish a project to make an impact on the issue we have chosen. I was really excited about working on this issue.
The experience hasn’t been what I expected.
Each time we met, we talked about the issue and worked to come up with a project that would make an impact. As we researched, new ideas and information came up.
I am used to collaboration. I spent 25 years in film production collaborating on projects.
Collaboration was not happening in this group.
After each meeting I was curious about what to do next. I kept trying to engage the group, and offer other ideas for a project that took in the other group member’s input. One of the members kept taking us back to his idea. He only had one idea. As we all tried to work together and come up with new solutions, he always went back to the same idea.
He was limiting the group.
Instead of being curious about what others thought, what the research revealed and being open to new ideas, he kept us stuck and divided.
I watched most of the group just check out. “Just tell us what you want us to do” was the comment from a few of the members. The exercise is supposed to be a team building exercise.
We were a group but not a team.
Part of this happened because of meeting on zoom, which made discussions harder. But this happens all the time in meetings, even in-person meetings. If one person isn’t open to ideas, isn’t curious about others’ opinions, isn’t open to collaboration, the team falls apart.
There are many ways we limit ourselves by not being curious. Having curious people around me helps me work through issues and come up with new solutions. I call people with an open mind ready to hear new ways of looking at the situation.
Being curious instead of stuck on an idea helps us find new solutions.
How do you deal with situations where people around you are not curious or open?
- Do you stay stuck?
- Do you reach out to others?
- Or do you just give up and run-away?
I didn’t give up, even though there were many times I wanted to. I kept reaching out to other group members and friends for new ideas and solutions. Each meeting I have tried to look at the group in a new way. I kept my mind open and curious.
My goal is to have this group work together and become a team.
Reaching out to my friends and staying curious has given me different perspectives and new skills, so I can help make that happen.