Posted by Nigel Wilson on 15 February 2016 | Comments

I read an article last week, written by a recruiter in Australia, asking whether curiosity has become irrelevant in recruitment. He argued that perhaps too many recruiters feel they have enough to get by. They don’t want to learn new skills or acquire new knowledge. Their employers also aren’t helping by providing training.

As a result, he explained that recruiters are leaving the industry in droves, because their lack of curiosity has convinced their potential clients that the recruiter isn’t remotely interested in their business. As a result, the recruiters’ lack of success leads them to think that recruitment isn’t for them, and they get out

The lack of curiosity described above is probably down to sheer laziness. Some people just can’t be bothered to learn more; due to either their own ignorance or arrogance. It’s their problem

However, it would seem in many ways, people in general have become less curious.  This made me think more widely about what drives - and what prevents - curiosity

Most of us are curious if we see something that might have a beneficial effect on our lives. It could be a product, an opportunity, or a person.

Curiosity is almost a natural emotion. Whatever our personal likes and dislikes, there is inevitably something or someone we encounter that triggers our natural curiosity

So what gets in the way of curiosity? Potentially lots of things, but in reality, only a couple.

Let me explain. Curiosity is available to anyone with an open mind. We close our minds to things that don’t interest us. That’s normal. However we also close our minds to things because we’re too focused on other priorities.

Likewise, distraction can kill curiosity, because it can dull our thought processes. And that can be a real problem nowadays. Just look around - so many people are focused on their smartphones or tablets. The amount of information they encounter and process is enormous. I’m talking about text messages, emails, social media etc etc. The list is endless. It’s impossible to take it all in. Whilst ‘distraction’ can trigger curiosity, it can also prevent it, simply due to the sheer volume of information being digested. Something has to give.

People who focus too much on the future often miss out on the present - on what’s happening around them now. Curiosity, by and large, happens in the present - the now. We can be curious of something in the past, and we can be curious of something in the future. But it’s what is going on in the present moment that really drives curiosity. Something happens to attract our attention - to spike our curiosity

So often, the present is ignored. Instead we think of what we’re going to do, what we have to do, or what we’re worried about.

Focusing on the present is part of mindfulness (something I will write about in another blog). Our relationship with the present moment is more important than we often realise. Being more open and accepting with the present makes us less judgemental, and really helps to arouse our curiosity.

That can only be a good thing. It’s good to consider, experience and welcome new things, new ideas, and new people. Even if we decide not to pursue things further, it’s good to have the choice. And if we can let our curiosity take us into new areas which enrich our lives, that can surely be a good thing.