Simple Steps to Help You Think Like a Genius, by Michael Crosson
Inspired by the bestselling book “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci” by Michael J. Gelb
1. the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness.
Have you ever stopped and said to yourself “Gosh, I wish I knew a lil’ something about everything.”?
I have. About 30 years ago. I guess that would put me in the “naturally curious” category.
Take a moment and think about all the things that you know about in life:
- working a computer
- driving a car
- building a paper airplane
- playing a musical instrument
- finding the right place to scratch behind your cat’s ear
- knowing the wrong thing to say when your significant-other is in a bad mood
The list could easily go on and on and on….and you wouldn’t even scratch the surface of what we could learn in the span of a lifetime.
When Da Vinci lay on his death bed, he asked for forgiveness from God and man “for leaving so much undone.” This coming from a man whose combined life work and contributions have never come close to being replicated. Even at the end of his days, Da Vinici’s insatiable curiosity for everything drove him on.
I think that of all of the life principles that were associated with Leonardo, curiosity was his most important. I completely identify with the importance healthy curiosity had on his life.I have whole-heartedly embraced my curious nature and consciously tried to tunnel it towards my day-to-day work habits. I tend to channel my work-related curiosity in three directions: my company, my clients and my job.
Do you really know what everyone in your company does? Oh sure, Jane Smith works in Accounting, so she must do accounting stuff. But have you ever taken the time to see how they fit in and contribute to your company? How does someone in a completely unrelated department directly affect your work? How can understanding what others do improve your work?
There are plenty of great people and resources in your office that can help improve your workload. Are you utilizing them to your fullest? Perhaps you can help to mentor and educate your co-workers. Applying a little bit of curiosity and not being afraid to ask a few questions can really go a long way in the office.
One of the best questions that you can ask a client is “Is there anything else that I can help you with?” Sometimes, all you need to do to get a new opportunity is to ask.
Are you taking the time to figure out what your client may need without them realizing it? If a client is always busy and never has time to speak with you, is there a way that you can help them be more efficient or present your needs in a more effective way?
It’s easy to get comfortable in a job. Sometimes, we become complacent and allow our work-related activities to stay the same. By putting your curiosity to work, you open up the opportunity to re-create what you do. Are there ways to improve my process? How can I make meetings shorter and more effective? How can I be of more value to my organization?
I think you will find that employing curiosity in the workplace can really open up a new way of looking at how you work.
A little knowledge can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to know something about everything in your work life.