The prejudices that hinder curiosity
Yesterday in a small exercise on Design Thinking I realized that most of the participants felt a hard time understanding the meaning of empathy and simultaneously devoted little enthusiasm to curiosity about the problems of others.
It seemed that to be curious to understand deeply the needs \and problems of people was to be indiscreet or rude.
On the contrary have an empathic curiosity means that there is a knowledge gap that we need to fill. We feel the curiosity when we feel a gap between what we know and what we don’t know, and this leads us back to learning.
Curiosity is our main ally to understand the complexity that involves many challenges we face today, whether it’s the relations between people or their sensitivity in the face of adversity.
“I am a true believer that being a good person is much more important than being a good musician, and that in order to have the success I seek in music, both are required…I’m a sensitive person, but I always perceived that sensitivity simply as good listening in musical situations. I’m sensitive to people’s feelings and moods, and I believe that it generally makes me someone that my friends feel they can come to.”
In fact it seems a complex world when dealing with relations with people in a changing environment, but there are ways to decode this complexity and present it as being simple.
One of the outputs, that we have when we are faced with complex situations, as for example, to analyze the real needs of people (customers) is looking to fit what we have available in the complaint or request of the people in question.
It is not however a desirable output because many of us do not know enough about the needs of the people, to change our products or services, or the way we interact with them.
Without realizing that, we drag people to a complex network of processes that hamper a good service when we propose services or products wrong by wrong motives.
We need to listen carefully and amplifying curiosity we must find out what are the needs of the people, understand what are, the unmet needs, the non-articulated and unveil the hidden needs.
“Empathic curiosity is underpinned by the core skills of empathic listening and maintaining a curious attitude.”
When we talked with someone, we hear or read news, often we find that a lot of people has unmet needs, but these are just the visible part of the iceberg.
Underneath the water line there are many other needs that people still could not express or have not yet been identified because they have not yet been confronted with environments that require more of themselves.
When we are able to combine curiosity and empathy we are facilitating the identification and definition of problems.
Deny the existence of problems is to escape their resolution or reject the challenges which we are placed. Do not dig deeper to understand deeply the people is to follow the direction of laziness and propose the mediocrity as a solution.
Dig deeper also means understanding the context where people are, to understand the values and cultural norms or criteria for satisfaction.
This cultural empathy, which equates in traditional environment of each one of us, incorporates a significant weight, in addressing the needs or problems that we want to identify.
So learning plays a key role, and begins with the ability to learn to develop the work collaboratively.
After all, having empathic attitudes is not as easy as talking. In addition to requiring a conscious learning of what is empathy, requires knowledge of the environment where the attitude is manifested and the existing connections.
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