Tom started with Your Own Place nearly a month ago. Any new employee in a small and tight team makes an impact. Their personality, style of communication and approach to the job alters a small team – not for better or worse, just alters it.
Something Tom brings to his role his curiosity. It’s quite disarming when someone asks lots of questions and forces you to think about your answers and why you are doing things the way you are.
It’s made me reflect on my own curiosity too – or historic lack of it. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that almost everything can be learnt. At school we are lead to believe we are arty or science types and this feels increasingly limiting. As a linguist and musician I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told ‘I can’t do languages’ or ‘I’m tone deaf’. I’m not a social entrepreneur either, but hey! So we can learn to be curious too.
Tom has helped me realise how important being curious is. It’s easy to be scared of asking the ‘wrong’ questions and it’s occurred to me that my upbringing did just this. I wanted to be invisible and asking the wrong question (or any question) would have undermined this. I wish I’d asked more.
So this is something I’m learning to do. Sitting in a meeting or planning a project I’ve become much more assertive about what information it is that I need to progress. I believe a lack of curiosity is why some people/organisations waste so much time with endless meetings – because no-one asks any questions – let alone the right ones. Maybe they don’t dare or aren’t professionally curious.
Alternatively, we are so quick to rush on with ‘doing’ we haven’t established the basics through asking (and of course listening). This is vital in services that meet a human need.
And of course people love being asked questions.