Curiosity and Life-Long Learning

When I am interviewing a potential new-hire, one of the things I look for is how curious they are. I love it when an applicant asks me a question that no one has ever asked before—gives me an opportunity to learn something new which is a passion of mine, and I hope yours.

I once met an adult in a class I was attending who said she really didn’t want to learn anything anymore—she was retired and knew everything she needed to know. I was horrified and it caused me to think about how many other people might feel the same way.

I am just the opposite—learning new things is so motivating and so critical to being alive. In fact, if you’re not curious, you’re dead because no one day is ever like the one before it.

That’s why I love to meet new people and ask them questions. Friends tell me I ask too many questions and that is probably a fair statement but I will probably not stop. Getting answers to our questions is how we learn. This didn’t come easy to me. I once was rated low on a performance review because my manager said I never asked any questions. I didn’t ask questions because I thought by asking a question I was showing I didn’t know everything about the topic at hand. It was a great learning experience for me and, yes, I may have taken it too far but I’ve learned a lot in the process!

There is so much information available to us on so many levels every day! And, you don’t have to wait a second for it—it is available to us on our phones, iPads, tablets, TV’s, radios…and from the people we meet. Getting to know new people can be a challenge but if you just ask a few questions and show genuine interest in the answers, you will learn a great deal. This works in your business life as well as your personal life.

Asking people to tell me their story is probably why my favorite part of being a human resources professional is recruiting—I get to ask questions for a living and learn so much from each and every interview I do. Even if the person isn’t right for the job, I always learn something new and that is highly motivating!

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