By Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz
If you are always wondering “why is that…?” or “what if…?”, you may be in possession of a great amount of Intellectual curiosity! Intellectual curiosity is the desire to pursue, enjoy, and engage in learning opportunities and is beginning to replace the IQ as the measure of a person’s general potential.
In school, students are many times pigeonholed as “gifted” or “remedial” based on standardized test scores without any regard to their intellectual curiosity. Yet research from Stanford University tells us that intellectual curiosity greatly affects academic performance, and can be used as an indicator of academic potential. That’s because individuals who are naturally curious, want to learn and are motivated, are more likely to succeed because of their own personal initiative. They learn to learn, not just for a grade on a test.
Further studies show the same concept helps us succeed in business. Dr. Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, wrote in the Harvard Review about three qualities that he believes can enhance our ability to “manage complexity” and achieve in business: our IQ (intelligence quotient) or EQ (our emotional quotient which measures our emotional intelligence) and our CQ (or curiosity quotient). Ideally, we bring a healthy serving of each to the table when we sit down in a business meeting.
I, myself, have always enjoyed learning but now know I can be definitely categorized as “intellectually curious.” In fact, I think this natural trait translates well to my work in marketing as it would for any other professional. Why?
1. Marketers are Always Learning New Things (or should be!)
In my agency, we are constantly meeting new people and learning about their business. One day it’s an inventor with a new software application; the next it’s learning about new laws for 2017. The learning curve can be steep but it’s also one of the most fascinating parts of the process of working with a new client. Intellectual curiosity helps tremendously in asking the questions that help us get to know our new clients.
2. Intellectual Curiosity Helps us Think Like Consumers.
One of a marketer’s top skills is being able to think like the consumer and that begins with creative questioning, fueled by curiosity. They must wonder, what would someone learning about our product want to know? How can we make it easier for our customers to learn about our product? What is the most interesting, curiosity-piquing aspect of our product? With our intellectual curiosity, we can come to a deeper understanding of how products are perceived by consumers.
3. Intellectual Curiosity Helps Us Problem Solve.
What is a marketer, after all, but someone who comes up with a solution to the problem of gaining more market share for his or her client? Intellectual curiosity leads us to the questions that help us brainstorm new and interesting ways to present products and services to the consumer. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Square, an accessible credit card reader for small businesses, was inspired for the product when he wondered why an artist friend had to lose a big sale to a potential customer simply because he couldn’t accept a credit card. He looked for a better way…and then he created one.
4. Intellectual Curiosity Helps Us Develop Relationships.
In marketing, as in any business relationship, curiosity helps us get to know one another. Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Being able to have genuine interest in and ask questions of new people is a great way to form a bond. Having the genuine curiosity to ask a client about that painting on the wall or the photo on his desk will bridge your distance and provide a personal foundation for the relationship.
The good news is that like anything, intellectual curiosity can be developed, just like any other personality trait. Technology can help immensely, since information is now so easily accessible and we can now learn new things anytime, anywhere. You can also help improve your intellectual curiosity by pursuing knowledge whenever you see an opportunity, or trying new things through learning experiences that may lead to inspiration and discovery.
Intellectual curiosity is our special gift and as we learn more about what makes us successful in business and life, curiosity is emerging as a very important factor. Nurture your curiosity and you’ll be helping yourself succeed. So are you a curious person? Well, maybe finding out is the first step to becoming more curious!
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), Founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), Author of 8 books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion and achieving success in business. She has been hired by the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, Farmers among other corporations to share her inspiration.
If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.