In praise of curiosity

Curiosity is essential for a range of careers. Journalists, detectives, psychologists, lawyers, doctors, scientists are all occupations where asking questions is vitally important. And of course, professional communicators – which is all of us at Indaba – need to be voraciously curious, too.

We have no truck with the notion that curiosity killed the cat. We eschew the negative stereotypes about curiosity. We do not reduce curiosity to the curtain-twitching neighbour or the meddling gossip. Instead, we view our insatiable curiosity as a positive quality, a necessity in fact.

We need to be curious about our clients. It is our responsibility to ask questions of them, not to rest on our laurels or to take things at face value. And we bear that burden of the responsibility with new clients, too. We have a duty to do our own research. If we don’t understand our clients, fully and completely, if we don’t get under their skin and into their DNA, we simply can’t do our job to a high standard.

Some of our clients are highly technical and work in very niche sectors, so here too it is our responsibility to make sure we put our curiosity into overdrive. Learn to spray some car panels? Sure. Visit a commercial vehicle manufacturing plant? Love to! Audit some technical training sessions? Perfect. We are like a moth to a flame when it comes to learning. We pay attention, we listen, and, yes, we ask questions.

Our curiosity helps us be better at our jobs and build better relationships with the people we work for. When we work with CEOs on thought leadership, for example, we establish close relationships so that the content we produce not only add values and provides new insights for the market, but also resonates as authentic and genuine.

At Indaba, we love our curiosity. It is one of the cornerstones of how we immerse ourselves in the work of our clients and how we understand their people so well. We’ll never lose touch with the curious kids we all once were, constantly asking “But why?”. We’ve grown into the communications professionals who today uses those questions to shine a light on clients across the globe.