“Try to be one of those on whom noting is lost,” wrote Henry James. His advice from The Art of Fiction sums up the spirit of choosing to be curious. It’s a decision we can make about how we live our lives and do our work.
Research has shown that curiosity improves learning, strengthens decision making, ignites innovation and is essential to growth and transformation. The good news is: like a muscle, curiosity is something you can strengthen.
Whatever you do, choose to be curious.
Choose to be Curious – A radio program all about curiosity. We feature research and theory, but mostly it’s conversations about how curiosity shows up in work in life. The show airs Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Eastern time in the DC area on “Radio Arlington” WERA-LP 96.7 FM (with re-airs Fridays at noon); streaming live and later on demand at wera.fm.
Coming Soon: a series of interviews with contributing authors to the forthcoming Curiosity Studies: Toward a New Ecology of Knowledge, edited by Perry Zurn and Arjun Shankar.
Wear your curiosity front and center. Visit the Choose to be Curious Shop.
Leading with Curiosity – Choose to be curious and lead by example. Experience the power of your position in a new light–and have a little fun while you’re at it.
In Development: a workshop designed with the leader in mind. In an intensive, highly interactive half-day workshop, we will look at how to use curiosity to build trust, make better decisions and ignite innovation. Choose to be curious and lead by example. Experience the power of your position in a new light–and have a little fun while you’re at it.
I had great discussions with Dana Theus of InPower Coaching on leading with curiosity. I think of it in two ways: how to be leaders who are curious, and having curiosity be our first move, regardless of where we stand in the hierarchy. Interview and insights Part 1 here, Part 2 here.
Cultivating Curiosity – Let’s work together to develop a facilitated session that uses curiosity as its frame. What do you want in people’s heads, hearts and hands – and how we can use curiosity to get there?
Risk Alternative, Inc.‘s founder and principal Ted Bilich and I did a two-part series on curiosity and the role of the COO. This is the place I confess to being a recovering know-it-all. Interview and insights here.
Fellow WERA producer Andrea Cambron, host of Enlighten Me, and I traded off conversations; she joined me on Choose to be Curious to talk about Curiosity, Current Affairs and Kids – and then I joined her show to keep the conversation going. Interview and insights here.
Lynn Borton is a facilitator—of conversations and transformation—with more than 25 years of experience in strategic governance and change management in the non-profit sector.
Combining the best of science, organizational learning and leadership development, Lynn is working to synthesize the study of curiosity into something we can all appreciate: an exciting path to greater personal well-being, professional success and life satisfaction. Besides, it’s fun.
For nearly 25 years Lynn worked with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness – the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization), capped by a dozen years as chief operating officer. She has long focused on inclusive, interactive and iterative approaches to support leaders in achieving personal and organizational goals.
Lynn graduated from Yale with honors and a degree in Religious Studies and is proud member of Leadership Arlington Signature Program, class of 2014.
Today, Lynn hosts a radio show on curiosity and is devoting her time and talents to getting people thinking and talking about curiosity.
More from Lynn:
An Ivy League education is a wonderful thing, but I think I may have learned my most important lessons working in a community mental health center following graduation. In that complex and often confusing environment, staying curious was a critical skill. I learned to ask, not assume; to empathize, not judge; to appreciate the importance of world views and life experiences that were very different from my own.
Since leaving my role at NAMI, I have worked with established non-profits and emerging start-ups, traveled, plunged into the frozen Atlantic Ocean, posed as a painter’s model, sewn a couple of quilts and taken some MOOCs, participated in a Moth Story Slam, given a LEAD Talk and trained in audio production.
In other words, I have chosen to be curious.
In doing so, I have broadened and deepened my skill sets, substantially enlarged my social and professional circles, discovered novel areas of interest, unearthed a passion and charted a new and exciting professional path forward.
I’ve come to appreciate the powerful potential of human curiosity – and I’d like to help you leverage that strength in your life and work as well. How can I be helpful to you?