I was looking at some quotes from Einstein the other day and they made me reflect on two words – ‘knowledge’ and ‘curiosity’.
There is no doubt that having and sharing knowledge is important and beneficial to me as the person who has it and also to the person who I get to share it with. After all, if I don’t know things, how else do I learn?
When it comes to having empowered conversations though it is really good to draw some distinctions between the two.
Knowledge is something that I have and it is often used as the basis to make me look and feel good. When I fix your problem or share what I know then it boosts my ego as I have proven that I am both helpful and informed. Interesting to note the number of times the word ‘I’ is used here!
Curiosity on the other hand clearly changes the dynamics. The focus is now on the other person and learning something from them. They become the focus of the conversation and my curiosity actually signals to them that I am interested in them and genuinely want to know what they have to share. Immediately this transforms conversations because people get this change in focus and will feel that they are valued, respected and that they have a voice.
There is a humility to being curious that signals to others that you don’t know best and that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
What is so amazing when people experience this, you are enabling the other person to also feel more significant and confident, you build their capability and resourcefulness and ultimately will inspire them to thrive.
Clearly knowledge has its place, but please recognise that if we bring more curiosity to our conversations not only are we creating something better for everyone else, we also have the privilege of learning from them. Ironically this makes me even more knowledgeable, so our ego’s still get a boost!