Tag Archives: curiosity

Know yourself – an introduction


In a lot of my previous posts I have always said to be successful in most endeavours you have to know yourself. Self-awareness can be a big differentiator in the business world. There are many tools and models out there to help you understand aspects of your personality. All are flawed and debated in one way or another.

So where do you start?

Well if you have chosen to become more self-aware then you have already made the first step. If you are reading this and are curious you have the most important tool to becoming more self-aware. Alongside this you must be driven to discovering more about yourself, particularly in times of difficulty. The third skill you will require is honesty with yourself. We are all pre-programmed to protect ourselves physically and we learn to protect ourselves mentally as well. No one likes to know they are bad at something or have it pointed out. The skill of acknowledging your flaws will allow you continue to be curious and determined.

The first tool you will need is to find out your preferred learning style. If you want to learn more about yourself, tapping into your preferred learning style will make this happen quicker and easier. 

So step 1 into better self-awareness is your learning style.

There are 2 main models of learning style which are in general use. These are:

Honey and Mumford’s learning styles which are activist/reflector/pragmatist/theorist. You can learn more about this model here.

The second is the VAK learning styles – visual/auditory/kinaesthetic. You can learn more about this one here.

Both of these models display preferences and you may have a mixture of these. Indeed, there may be parts of these and other models which resonate with you together. If this is already happening then you are more self-aware than you realise. If not don’t be discouraged. This is where your curiosity and determination will come into play. I would recommend learning more about these tools and others until you find things that make sense to your actions. 

Alongside all these models I will offer my own perspective on learning. I believe that learning preferences, particularly in the case of skill development,  can fall on 2 continuums: social or individual and imposed and free learning. 




A social learner will receive learning points and evaluation from others while an individual learner will create their own learning objectives and will self-evaluate, however representative this may be.

Structured learning will have a set of criteria and objectives often using a curriculum like a school class to increase learning where free learning is born out of experience and reflection on that experience. Free learning does require more curiosity as it can have no start point or end point. 

You may place your own comfort area on both continuums which will land in one of the four quadrants. Examples of learning situations from all quadrants are;

Someone who is a social free learner may observe and reflect on skills in social situations or may discuss issues with a coach.

Someone who is an individual free learner may improve skills through practice, such as speech giving in front of the mirror.

Someone who is an individual structured learner may learn from textbooks, online courses or in classroom situations.

Someone who is a social structured learner may learn best in group tasks such as team building exercises or may conduct a 360 degree feedback exercise and pull together their conclusions.

If we look back to the honey and mumford and VAK models, these would resonate most with individual structured learners. In opposition there may be some of you who would like to discover your learning style and may want to discuss this with a group, being a social free learner.

The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong answer to self-awareness and that these tools or mindsets can only be used by you to help discover more about yourself. 

If you are still interested in becoming more self-aware then my next few blog posts will cover more tools and ideas to help discover more about yourself and how you can use this knowledge to achieve more.

Thanks for reading.



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Are you curious?


Change change change change and change again. This is what business looks and feels like now. Sometimes it feels hard to gain a grasp of. I find there is one way to lessen the sense of dread piling up. 

Be curious.

Being curious helps us to learn. Learning helps you to understand. And understanding helps you to actually contribute to the business. Seems simple enough?

So why do we give ourselves reason not to be curious? ‘I don’t have time’, ‘That isn’t relevant’, ‘I have no interest’. Why do we protect ourselves from the new? And I do mean protect. When you discover that new band that sound like music has never been played before or the first time you set down for holiday and you can feel the possibilities. We like new things so why don’t we like to be curious? There are many reasons but for me personally, it’s a fear of failure. I like new things only when I know they can’t go wrong. What’s yours?

If we don’t like to be curious then we won’t survive in constant change. You may know someone with a “zest for life”. I just see them as comfortably curious. So how can you increase what I like to call your curio-capacity?

1. Know yourself. You have to understand what you enjoy about curiosity but also what stops you from enjoying it. When you understand your barriers then you can overcome them.

2. Challenge your curiosity. Find activities which will force your curiosity. My favourite is driving on a road you don’t know without a map or destination. Go discover. It might be in another country on holiday, or it might be ten minutes from home. Either can be liberating.

3. Enjoy the satisfaction. Accomplishment can be it’s own greatest reward. Revel in learning something new. Self-reinforcement will perpetuate and grow your curio-capacity.

4. Grow your curiosity socially. Take every conversation as a chance to learn something new about the person you are talking to. Be genuinely interested. If you like sports, talk to someone about music. As a leader challenge other peoples curiosity. It can foster satisfaction, engagement and loyalty from your team.

Being curious can help when things change and let us keep contributing. If you are unsure, your kids will show you how it’s done. 

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