Today’s guest on Learn to Win is Dr. Diane Hamilton, a sought-after expert in emotional intelligence and behavioral science with nearly four decades of real-world experience, Dr. Hamilton is the creator of the Curiosity Code Index™ and the author of four books sold worldwide.
Researcher, author and nationally syndicated radio show host Dr. Diane Hamilton has developed a new assessment to determine the things that impact curiosity, titled the Curiosity Code Index™ (CCI). Praised by CEOs as “the ultimate assessment to help individuals and organizations improve engagement, innovation and productivity.”
The CCI is the first assessment of its kind. After years of research and through interviewing top business thought leaders, Dr. Hamilton has designed this assessment to go along with her book Cracking the Curiosity Code. Hamilton’s research found the key to improving factors associated with productivity, beginning with improving curiosity.
We have all heard the saying, “curiosity killed the cat,” but maybe being curious is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, there are distinct areas of curiosity. Knowing what they are (and what blocks them) gives you more control of your ability to work with them and to harness the power of curiosity in yourself and in your team.
Dr. Diane Hamilton takes a deep dive into the curiosity inhibitors, what they mean and how they can be used to maximize your potential.
6:41 –The curiosity scale
8:55 – The FATE acronym
13:12 – The struggles of emotional intelligence
15:01 – How to overcome fear
18:16 – The four factors that inhibit curiosity
20:27 – Why we need ‘The Foundation’
24:28 – How we are affected by social pressures
26:38 – The personal SWOT analysis
28:05 – The corporate ‘Action Plan’
34:10 – The assumptions we make
38:40 – How to create a safe work environment
Cracking the Curiosity Code: The Key to Unlocking Human Potential – Dr. Diane Hamilton
It’s Not You It’s Your Personality: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace – Dr. Diane Hamilton
Full Transcription From Our Call (*time code may not match audio):
All right, so Diane, Dr. Diane Hamilton. Thank you so much for joining today. I’m so excited to have you on the show.
Well, thank you for having me here Todd. I’m excited as well. This is going to be fun.
Yeah, it is. And as I mentioned, just before we started in hand, I have my assessment of the curiosity code index, which um, I’m curious about to say the least. Um, before we jump into the content, why don’t you share a little bit about, you know, who you are, what you do, and really, uh, I’d love to hear you talk about why you have chosen this path for your, for your career, for your focus, and for what you want to do for the world.
Well, I do a lot of things. It’s a really hard question to answer. Just because I do so many different things, I have a radio show. I also have a company that I run that, uh, deals with curiosity and other behavioral issues. So I consult, speak, teach, write. I do a lot of different things. Um, my basic interest is in human behaviors. I think it’s fascinating to look at what makes for good performance. And uh, they kind of started from writing my dissertation on emotional intelligence many years ago and it led to my interest in just assessing and, uh, looking at some of the things that hold people back. So that is what I’ve been working on lately is just is all these things you see here. And if you scroll down, it’s kind of fun to see. Uh, I don’t know if you’re on the, about me page, but if you are, you can scroll down and see some of the amazing people who have been on my show.
Um, I every once in awhile I get to meet, uh, some of them and some of them are just I think, I’m not sure if you’re on the about page, but the about page is kind of fun to look at because, yeah. Um, but I got interested in curiosity based on this work that I do with, um, just speaking and interviewing and, uh, teaching. I’ve taught more than a thousand business classes. And because of that, I’ve had a lot of students who have, some have been really curious and others maybe not so curious. Um, and I wanted to instill that level of curiosity that I saw with say these people that are, who are scrolling across the bottom of your screen here. Uh, some of these people, whether they’re billionaires, uh, or, uh, you know, time magazine, most influential there.
I’m standing with and Naveen Jain billionaire and Steve Forbes, obviously Steve Forbes. Um, a lot of these people are just so, uh, incredibly curious that I thought, well, what is different? Why do they embrace all this learning? And, you know, being so unique in that respect. And all of them just read like unbelievable amounts of things and they look into different, uh, areas of, uh, maybe they’re not even, you know, part of what they do at the time. Like Naveen Jain was into understanding the gut and, and button, you know, medical issues. But he’s also looking at how to mind on the moon, you know what I mean? So, I mean, you can’t get any more different than that. So I think a lot of it to me was what makes these people unique. And so I started to write about curiosity, but once I started to write about it, I started to realize I wanted to fix it. Uh, people were being held back by it because you know, a lot of these people, why isn’t the act right there? For example, they’re, they’re usually, uh, curious. And that’s what I wanted to, to help people become.
Yeah. I think, I think it’s a fascinating study field of study and I’m, I’m, I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on, or a couple things that are top of mind after looking through your site and taking the assessment is, um, you know, what’s, what was different to me, what seemed different to me about the assessment is, um, you don’t immediately focus on what drives you, at least in the initial page. It’s like what’s stopping you, right? What are the roadblocks? What are the four things that are preventing people from being curious? So do you think that, you know, I’d love to dive into that a little bit. Uh, do you think people are curious by nature, like at birth, but then they have these things that come up, these fears and you have the four quadrants that you get into, um, but really, really interested to hear why you, why you chose to focus on the roadblocks and how that shows up in the assessment.
well, because you know, there’s a lot of, uh, assessments out there that’ll put you into categories or they’ll, um, tell you what you’re good at, but that doesn’t help you improve so much. I mean, I wanted to find out what was stopping you. And if you look at the assessments out there for curiosity, they all tell you how curious you are on a scale. You know, either you’re super curious or not so curious. And I really, that’s nice that I’d like to know how to fix it and that doesn’t help you fix it. So to know what’s stopping you is what I found was much more important. So I, I studied it for many years and uh researched, thousands of people did. All the nerdy techie stuff you have to do is to get peer reviewed, uh, publication of my data and all that stuff. Factor analysis is so exciting.
Let me tell you, I won’t go into that. But, uh, I did all that and I found that there are these four things, uh, and that that was so different than what was out there. Because if you look at like openness to experience was a, which is a part of the big five factors of personality and all those assessments. They’re great for telling you how curious you are, but this was something different. I wanted to do something no one else had had done because I wanted to fix it because it’s all tied into innovation, engagement, productivity and everything. Everybody’s trying to fix and you brought up are we like this from childhood or does it change and all that and the research does show around age five we have a marked drop until we get older and it’s, it’s something that we see is problematic for everybody. We start off highly curious where that kid that says why, why, why, and I know you have kids that probably are in that age group, right?
Just getting into it and I absolutely love it.
Yeah, it’s so cute. I was on a bus once in Vail going skiing and a little girl and her mom were in the back of the bus and they were Hispanic and you could hear her the whole time going, por que mama por que. it was so adorable to me. And then I looked at the mother and you could tell it wasn’t so adorable after awhile cause you’d heard it so many times, you know, and it, it’s just something that it’s hard to keep up with answering por que all the time. It’s hard when you’re a parent and then you get into school and teachers have limited time. They’ve got all these students. They, there’s so many things. I mean, sir Ken Robinson has a great Ted talk about how we’re educating people out of our creativity and our curiosity is being, you know, effected and, uh, George Land, another professor has a great talk about, you know, how everybody’s super creative and curious and all this at, at age five are we at 98% of people are super curious and creative and, but by 31 it’s like 2%. I mean we just lose it. And it is a lot of the things that we, you know, aren’t impacted by is what I wanted to research and fix. Long Answer.
I love it. I love it.And my, my gears are turning a lot, especially because my kids are in that stage. It was really funny a few days ago. Um, you know, it’s been really busy getting back to school and I had a death in the family a couple of weeks ago, which was challenging and busy. And you know, we really are pretty strict about TV time with our kids and I knew they needed to get a little more TV than usual over the past couple of weeks. Right. So I was like, I gotta find something that’s not just a cartoon. And I was like, I wonder if they would like that, that dry boring but fascinating show called how it’s made. And I have you seen this show? No, but Oh, so it teaches you like how a pen is made, how a screw is made. I mean, it’s like, it’s very basic stuff, but I mean, I have no idea how a glass frame is made.
Right. Really how it’s made. So I’ve, I put it on in my wife was like, what? They’re going to hate this thing, right. They loved it. We just watched how a bicycle seat is made and how a wire wheel is made. And it’s been, I think it’s the first show they’ve actually ever will watch for more than just a few minutes. That’s not animated. Right. And they were fascinated and, and afterwards they were just like, daddy, I have a great question. How, how is a wall made? How was it just like the world opened up to them? That’s really, really interesting to see that.
Well, you know, there’s an adult version of something I like. It’s called how stuff works. Podcast. And actually my first book many years ago, I had those guys, you know, had written a nice blurb for it. I love to listen. Josh and Chuck, they just tell you, you know, all stuff you stuff you should know, you know? Yeah. And I’ve had the people on my show from the curiosity podcast. Uh, if you go to curiosity.com, I think they own that site. And, um, you know, yeah, I think that there’s so many things we can do to improve our, our curiosity. And I think kids want to know the basics behind that. You should probably saw um on those pictures going by. Wazniak was on that. And I often talk about his book cause I, I love the beginning of his book. I Waz cause, uh, before he helped create Apple, he was a kid and when he was a kid, his father was like, I’ve read a literal rocket scientist.
And, but in the book he talks about him bringing home, uh, all kinds of, uh, gadgets from work for him to play with, uh, um, as far as, you know, wires and transistors and whatever. And instead of just handing into him and say, here, go in the corner and go play with this, he would actually tell them, you know, this is why you need this wire because it brings electricity, which does this, which does that. And he, he, he gave him the physics and the, you know, in a kid friendly way, but he would draw pictures and tie it into stories of Thomas Edison and make it really cool for kids. You know? I thought that was really fascinating.
Yeah, I love it. And it sounds like you gave a, you know, a purpose, right? Not just right. It is, but why it’s useful. Why it was made in the first place.
Right, right. And I think that, you know, we, it’s hard for us sometimes to do that as parents. We forget, you know, you get busy and it’s just a reminder. And I thought his book was really great. So I think that we can all learn to, to help others be just a little more curious. And sometimes we think, yeah, that’s going to be boring for them. But like you said, you found out no, it wasn’t. Was it?
Yeah. Yeah. Oh, well good. Well, let’s, let’s dive into how do you, how do you learn to be curious or where should we go? Where should we go for the listener, the viewer that they can, uh, they can get a good taste of what you do. Like I said, I have my assessment, which I have purposely not looked at until now and I’m dying to dive in there. Um, maybe that’s too long for the show today, but where would you like to go to, to transfer all your knowledge to whoever’s listening?
Well, I think that you can start by just thinking about how fear, assumptions, technology and environment. I have the acronym of FATE to remind you how all of them have impacted you and we can look at your results. I’m kind of curious, look at you being so high in technology now.
That’s a good thing, right? That means I’m good.
You know, a lot of people are averaging in the sixties and seventies. I would say this your numbers are pretty normal, but your technology is pretty high. Um, but we can talk about, um, each one. And when you take the assessment, you go to curiosity, code.com or you go to Diane hamilton.com and go to the curiosity information there. But what it is, is it’s like any kind of a personality test like that. You’re used to taking disk, emotional intelligence, that type of thing where it takes 10, 15 minutes, no big deal time-wise to take a, and it spits out this report.
It’s what, like 26 pages and yeah, 26 pages. And, uh, basically it gives you your initial numbers off the top of it. Then as you go through the paper, uh, the papers, uh, you look at each one individually. So we start off with fear and, and if you look at the third page, uh, that gives you more information about fear. I mean, there’s different things that we fear, right? Loss of control, embarrassment, failure, all these different things. How many times you’ve been in a meeting where you’re like, you want to ask a question, you don’t want to be the idiot in the room to ask it, right?
So there’s the double edge sword, the constant saying like, there’s no dumb questions. While they’re there are going to students is, right, right. You don’t want to be that guy. Right?
Yup. Well, you know, I mean, I can’t tell you, I’ve been in meetings where I’m like, lean next to Bobby, but Hey Bob, why don’t you ask, you know, blah, blah blah.
You look dumb. You don’t want like done, right. I mean, there’s just so many factors under fear. When I first put out the, um, does the idea of having research into curiosity, I put a question into LinkedIn of what, what keeps you from being curious? And I just, you know, I have tens of thousands of people who follow me. So I thought, Oh, I’ll get some interesting feedback and you know, you really do it. But a lot of it was fear based. A lot of it was, you know, they don’t, you know, they feel bad that they’re, they don’t want to look bad with loss control, all these things, you know, and a lot of it comes from our past experiences, uh, rejections and things that we’ve had. And so I wanted to focus in on all these different fear-based issues, but I knew it was more than fear.
And so I hired psychometric statisticians from people who had graduated Harvard and Pepperdine and all these great places to help me. And it was really interesting to me the challenge they had coming up with the questions. I actually had to do a lot of this factor analysis and all that on my own later because they kept asking questions that would give you answers of whether you curious or not. And they’re already, uh, assessments that do that. It was much more challenging to find the things that hold you back and to ask those questions. So it took several iterations and, and, and lots of thousands of thousands of people to research different questions to find out exactly what it was. And I, it was really fascinating to find out the final four of what, what, uh, was holding us back. But fear is definitely, um, up up there with a lot of people. I mean, it’s just something that is, it’s hard not to, to be afraid of change of lot of the things that are out there
now as we get deeper into this assessment for me, well first of all, are people going to find out all the things they need to do to manipulate me and follow up? And very possibly, I would think
they’re going to find out a lot about you here. So this is going to be fun.
Yeah, I’m very, I’m very open. I think that are probably part of my curiosity.
Right, right. So
That can be a blessing and a curse. Yeah. Being open.
Um, yeah. Well it’s, it’s a good thing I think. And I think it helps you, um, as long as you, you know, it’s all about, uh, self-awareness, which is a big part of emotional intelligence as I’ve studied many times and many years. And so, and this all, eh, when I wrote the book, I tied it into a lot of things like emotional intelligence and different things. What, what I kinda wanted to do was, um, think of the top things that everybody hires me to speak about. And what their struggle with emotional intelligence, soft skills, leadership, uh, engagement, innovation, all those kinds of things. That’s what I wanted to tie this into because what fascinated me was everybody who was on the show, whether they were, you know, billionaires or experts or whatever, even people who write about curiosity or creativity or drive and, and, and motivation, they all say curiosity comes first.
So i’d compare it to baking a cake, okay, think about this. You’re gonna bake, bake a cake. You mix the ingredients, you have flour, water, eggs, whatever it is with me. Cake mix, cause I’m lazy, but you mix it all together and you put it into a pan and you put it in the oven. So what happens? Well, if he didn’t turn on the oven, nothing happens, right? You get goo. You know? And that’s kind of what happens in the workplace. We know what the, these ingredients, they’re mixing, they want to have engagement and innovation and motivation and drive and, and all that. They’re mixing it together, but nobody’s turning on the oven. Nobody knows what the spark is. And the spark, the oven is curiosity. So if you don’t start there, you don’t get, no one gets cake. And so that’s, that’s how this is.
And so fear if we, if we recognize that people have this fear, uh, it’s, it’s a big step towards, um, you know, overcoming it. But now some people naturally overcome it. I give a lot of talks where I give examples of people who just, they’re, that they have the ability, they either from their environment or other outcome, you know, these factors overlap to some extent and they’re able to overcome some of their fear. I, I interviewed this woman from, Africa uh, Elisia Gambi who was one of the most fascinating people. She grew up in Africa in a horrible li, you know, horrible area without running water, without electricity. But she wanted to be educated and she could have easily let her fear take her over. But instead she, she had to cross this river every day to go to get her education. And to do that, she had to, well, she had to put all of her food or, um, her supplies or mat to sleep on everything for the entire week.
I have to say, she didn’t do it everyday. She did it every week. So she had a ton of supplies on her head as she crossed this river. And then every once in a while it would rain and the river became, you know, problematic. It would be running fast and her friends would actually die crossing this river and she could have given up. But she decided to overcome her fear and her curiosity, her need to build her, her mind and her it and get that education was overwhelming to her. And she became the first vice chancellor, female vice chancellor of a university in Zambia ever. So it, yeah. You know, I mean we can overcome these things, but some of us have more of that natural, you know, inclination to overcome. Like you’re more, you know, you’re better at technology. Maybe you’ve not let that impact you as well, where other people might not have fear to be as big of an impacter, so that was what was interesting to me was to see who had wit things and how much and how to fix it.
Yeah. Well, okay, so that, that’s fascinating. And then that story you just told, I mean, it really puts things in perspective when your. And when, we’re like, Oh, I don’t want to ask a question. It looks stupid. Or I don’t want to cross a raging river with my entire life possessions on my head to try and get a day’s worth of education. Like it really makes me realize how fortunate we are.
It does. And she actually is just in the, one of the most amazing people I’ve met. Actually. I get to meet her next, uh, in October she’s going to an event, I’m going to in America. So she’s coming here and I’m looking so forward to seeing her in person. But yeah, so I do like to share stories with people from the show because I think there’s so many people who represent what’s possible and she’s definitely one for overcoming a fear.
Oh, that’s awesome. All right. So, um, let’s dive into what, what do you do with these things? And I don’t know if you want to point out any more pages here.
Let’s, um, well, there’s an action plan. If you scroll down eventually. So what we do, if you want to scroll quickly, I’ll tell you when to stop. We’d go through fear. Um.
Thank you. And just for anyone who’s, there’s probably a lot of people just listening.
okay. There’s four factors that inhibit curiosity and their fear assumptions or which is the voice in your head. We can stop at assumptions for a second here. Technology and environment are the four factors. And so assumptions is an important one because it’s that voice in your head. It’s that, uh, I’m not going to like this. Oh, that was boring. Or the last time I wrote about that, that was the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. And whatever it is, you tell yourself this thing. And when I’m in an audience, when I’m speaking to a group, I like to, I pour a bottle of water into a glass, you know, and I hold up the glass and I say, how, how heavy is this? And a lot of people yell out six ounces, eight ounces wouldn’t, you know? And I go, it doesn’t matter. I said, what matters is how long I hold it.
Okay. So if I hold it for a minute, no big deal. Right? If I hold it for an hour, my arm might get tired. Right? Yep. Okay. Do you hold that all day? Your arm starts to feel paralyzed, right? Yeah. And our thoughts are like that. If you just have a fleeting thought, no big deal, you’ll hold onto a little longer, it’s going to be more problematic. You hold onto it for a long time. It paralyzes you. Do you need to put the water down? You need to put the thought down. That’s your over ruminating on things, you know? And I think so many people have that voice in their head that holds them back. And you, I dunno if you, do you watch dr Katz at all with your kids? A little bit. Yet he had an episode. It’s a cartoon on what? Like Nickelodeon or one of those.
And it’s kind of like the old Bob Newhart where he’s like psychiatrists and every week there’s a comedian that comes on the show and shares their problems in a funny way. And the one guy came on and he said, I don’t mind the voice in my head so much, I just wish it didn’t have a stutter. So then I think about that when I think about the voice in your head, you know, but that’s basically it, you know, what we do with the assumptions. And so as you scroll down, the next one would be technology and technology includes over-utilizing under-utilizing, uh, how much exposure you’ve had to it. I think of, you know, generational differences are a big one with technology. My mom, I gave her all kinds of technology and once you give your parents’ technology, you are tech support for the rest of your life.
I’m very familiar with that. But even that generation, I mean there’s, there’s dramatic differences between my, my mother in law, my mother, my mother in law is totally techie and she’s not the newest iPhone and figuring stuff out that my mom won’t even go near Facebook cause she hates all that stuff.
Right. And that’s, that thought. Yeah, those are the thoughts. I’m not going to like it. It’s going to get information out there. You know, it’s, you know, all that thinking and uh, you know, I always, you know, I gave my mom Apple TV. I mean, you want to listen and patients watch your parents in their email, wait, an Apple TV remote, that’s one of the worst things. Yeah. But you know, the problem is they’re afraid you’re going to break something or you know, that kind of thing. And, or there’s younger generations that just don’t even want to know the basics behind it.
There’s no foundation. They just want to ask their echoed or their iPhone or whatever it is, their device they’re using to figure it out for them. So we need the foundation, we need to understand, um, behind, you know, if you just have a calculator and you never understand math, you might’ve been the biggest math genius ever, but you don’t know it because you’ve never learned it. Right. So we were limiting ourselves by based on how much exposure we have to the basics. If in that case. And, and that’s, I mean, I love technology, but I think sometimes at work you need to have technology free days or you know, so people can get out of status quo kind of thinking. Yeah, it’s really easy to get too sucked into too much. And a lot of people just like, Oh, I’m not buying the next version.
I just learned the last version. And yeah, he just bought the system and you’re making me learn a new one. I mean, it’s overload for a lot of people and that’s understandable. But you know, do you really want your old flip phone? Aren’t you glad you don’t have that? Think of what it takes. Sometimes it takes a little work that’s slower, but as you scroll down the next one’s environment, and I had mentioned Steve Wasniak and how his environment was a totally positive, uh, you know, example, but not all of us had that example. A lot of us were maybe had interest in school and your teacher like, no, I don’t have time for that. You know, and they set you in a different direction. I had a, you know, I’m thinking in my work relationship, I have a, a guy I had a guy I reported to and it, it could go under environment, could go under theory, they kind of overlap.
But I remember he assigned me something to do that I thought was a really, you know, alright, fine, happy to do it kind of thing, but I’d never done it and I had no reason to ever do it. And so I said, Oh yeah, I’m happy to do that. Um, how do I do that? And other people I guess in my same job had done that kind of thing before. But since I hadn’t, he looked at me and he said, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. Okay. So what does that do that, that that is like such a huge impact, right? It either tells you you’re stupid or the guy who trained you was stupid or lie, don’t tell me the truth or I think of all the things that that does for curiosity and, and we all have the people that say, don’t come to us with problems unless.
You have solutions. Okay. So that shuts you down if you don’t have any way to figure out the solution if you’ve not trained in that. Right. And it sounded good when we heard that originally, cause we’re all good. We’re going to get rid of the complainer’s to stop just saying stuff, but you’re also shutting out any potential ideas. So, um, we have family with me, environment was a big one. My family, if you didn’t like sports and you know, your, that was it, that was the main focus and everything else is just ridiculous to even learn or think about. Right. So, yeah, and I wasn’t a big sports fan and so it, it was challenging to me to try and force myself to like things I wasn’t really interested in and kind of not look into things that I was interested in. And as I grew up and got out of the family and you get off on your own, you spend a little more time researching things that interests you because you’re not under that pressure.
Uh, you know, so I think it just depends. I mean, even social media, I think about it. You put up a picture and no one likes it. What do you do? You take it down, right? I am like, yeah, that was dumb. Why did I do that? You know, there’s so much pressure, right? So environment’s a big one, and so as you scroll down, I just want to just point out some of the things that they find out in their assessment.
And I’m chomping at the bit. I’m writing down a couple notes to loop back in time.
I’m happy to answer anything. No, I think it’s good. I want, I want to get through the whole thing and make sure we have, okay. As you take it, they’ll tell you, you know what, as this says, you know, the higher the score the better.
So that’s all this page is, is describing, you know, you’ve got great curiosity or maybe you have some concerning curiosity kind of thing. Okay. And that’ll explain the scores that you’re going to see soon. Um, so there was 36 questions you asked. You answered. And so this is my stuff, right? So for fear, you know, and we’ll go through each what are these questions individually, but it kind of gives you an idea of the greener, the score. The better you did, the less green the score, the more problematic it is for you. So you will get this. As you scroll down for each one of the 36 questions, it gives you an idea for fear. You had a 75% for assumption, 64% overall. But for each question it’s a little bit different. And then the next page we’ll go on to technology and environment gives you the same kind of thing.
And then as you scroll to the next page, you get more information for fear. It kind of just gives you an overall what kinds of things they were against. So as you keep scrolling, um, it’ll give you a feedback for each of the questions. So you don’t need to go through each one of these, but you get feedback for each of the 36 questions so you can scroll through. Yeah. And then let’s stop here for a second. Yeah, this right. And this were, this is something I certify people who are, um, consultants to give the curiosity code index so you can be CCI certified. And so as part of the training that they give people, uh, to go through the things, so they, they go through this personal action plan, but they also do a corporate one as well. So this is just the personal one that you can do if you just took it on my site like you did.
And you can do this on your own. It’s kind of like a personal SWOT analysis in a way. You’ve now, you know all your weaknesses. You know what are your threats to do, to deal with and how are you going to overcome them and, and make it time. Um, you know, make it a smart goal where it’s measurable and all that. And so we, we do this, that, and the training sessions. So I corporations give this to, to the everybody, you know who they want to give it to. And the trainer would go through this with you. But if you wanted to do this on your own, you could do it on your own. You would take the, the ones that were less green and uh, your scores were lower. So yea the horribly red ones and you would just like, you know, put down your issue.
And then this is just giving you an idea of maybe if competition was a problem for you of what kinds of things you would do. So we go through this in the training courses. What this whole thing is meant to do is to open a dialogue. Now in the corporate setting, this would be private to you. You would not share this with your bosses. So you know, you would take this test, you would be able to, you would talk about how to create this action plan in the training. And um, everybody would go through, take three or four different, their, their highest ones or lowest ones I should say. Um, and um, [inaudible] create their an action plan. And you could whiteboard this with people. It’s, it’s something, you know, there are a lot of people love to do when they go through actually the training class outside of just getting it online like you did and they’re actually in a corporate setting.
We go beyond that and we come up with a corporate action plan that ties into now that you understand how to fix your own levels of curiosity in these four areas. Let’s look at the top issues for org, for our organization’s engagement, productivity, innovation, whatever the different, uh, you know, soft skills, communication, critical thinking, and then you give them ideas as employees. I’m saying that’s what I mean by you. The employees give feedback as to what they would like to learn and how they would do better if they would, um, have certain things as a practical ideas that the, the leaders could have for them. And I example I, I think is makes it easier is um, Disney was having problems with their, um, uh, turnover. You know, they had low in really low engagement in their, um, uh, the laundry division is as glamorous as it sounds to be in laundry.
Yeah, there is a laundry at, uh, in Disney, you know, but everything, and I think how much fun it is to iron and fold sheets all day, but it’s not fun, right? So they, they thought, well, why don’t we just go to our employees and ask them, how can we make your job better? And they thought that they were going to get all kinds of crazy stuff they can’t fix. Right. So they, but they did it anyway and they got back some really simple things. They were really kind of stunned by what they got back. Uh, that that like things like I’m put an air conditioning vent over my workstation so I’m not sweating to death or have my table go up and down and my back doesn’t hurt. And things that they could do and they took, they completely, uh, improved their engagement because some people don’t mind that job if you just have it be something where it’s, you know, not miserable.
Right. And so they, and so this is what I was trying to do with this, is you go to the horse’s mouth, the employee, and you get the what you think, you know, but you really don’t know how can we fix engagement or how can we fix, uh, you know, communication and employees have great ideas. They have great feedback in these training sessions. They come up with all these ideas and then the trainer or the HR professional, whoever is doing this training class puts together, compiles this so it’s anonymous and they give it back to leadership and say, this is how you fix engagement. This is how, based on fixing curiosity and employees and core trainers love it, that, I mean, they love it because you’re really doing their job for them and you’re doing the leader’s job for them. And it’s all coming from the employees like it did at Disney. They’re getting the, the answer for what they just thought they knew, but they really didn’t. So
I think that that is a, that is an activity that people in practically every single situation can benefit from is, is stop, stop. Assuming you know the answer and, and ask, get it from the horses mouth as you say.
Right, right. So that’s what we do. And, and you’ve pretty much shown the main parts of this assessment. You know, there’s so much, you know, if for each of the different ones, but basically
There is a ton of detail. I would highly recommend anyone listening to go and take this. Uh, it’s quick, it’s quick to get through the assessment part, but I can see just from flipping through this, I mean, I want to dive into each of these, uh, each of these sections and I, and I’ve got a few questions I think probably each year. Okay. So going back to the FATE, right, you’ve got a fear, assumptions, technology and environment. Funny enough, I don’t think you even know this, but the first one, fear, um, obviously fear is not a factor for me, which, which I was actually on the show fear factor. Yeah.
So that, uh, I mean, it’s a funny saying and I, and I didn’t score as high on fear as I did on technology, but,
uh huh. There’s different kinds of fear though, you know, fear of eaten a bug or jumping off a cliff is a little different. Right.
And embarrassing yourself or you know, into, uh, a situation that’s uncomfortable. Right. Mentally. Uncomfortable. Yeah.
Right, right. There’s so many different forms of fear.
Yeah. Um, so I don’t, I didn’t put anything in particular about that, but on the assumptions part, maybe you can help me with this. I’ve been trying to find this study that I read ages ago and it was about kids who, uh, I think it was like in the four to six year old range. Um, and it was about a crayon box. Do you know what I’m talking about? Where they took the crayons out of the box and they put candy in it? You ever heard this? I, I, it sounds familiar, but I can’t, let me, I’ll tell it as I recall it. And so at a certain age, something shifts in the, in the human brain and this study that I read, they would put a kid in a room by themselves with a box of crayons. Right. And they would, um, they would have the kid opened the box of crayons.
They would take out the crayons and they would put candy in the box and then they would close it and then they would have another person come in, another child or uh, or an adult come into the room and they would ask the, the kid on the floor, they would say, what does that person think is in the box? And before a certain age, the kids would almost universally say candy. No, it was clear that that person had no, they weren’t there when the candy was swapped out and at some point, um, they’re, they’re making the assumption that what they know, everyone else knows. Right? Right, right. So at some point in the, in the progression of the human brain, they realize that, well, I know that, but other people don’t. Right. And I always think it’s an interesting study because I think there’s a different, there’s a different moment in time where, uh, it’s the opposite. As an adult, when you learn something, um, you assume that, Oh, well now that I know this, everybody else must know this too.
You know, it is interesting the assumptions we make. I’m wondering if Michael Bungay Stanier uh, mentioned that when he was on my show cause his company box of crayons. I think it’s coming. Yeah, it’s coming back to me. Um, but uh, yeah, he’s great. If you haven’t looked him up,
like what do you, how do you spell, spell, spell or say his last name?
Uh, Bungay, I think it’s B. U. N. G. a. Y. Stanier your S. T. a. N. I. E. R. I’m pretty sure you could look at him up on, if you go to dr Diane hamilton.com, forward slash blog, the transcription of that show would be there. You can just search his name in the top corner. Yeah. Uh, he’s great by the way. Um, but when you’re talking about that perception is reality. It is for, you know, you’ve got your own idea. And there was a great Ted talk, I can’t think of his name off the top of my head. Uh, but professor in England, he was talking about perception of it was all about hallucination. We’re all hallucinating, but, but some of us, what we consider reality is just our agreement on our hallucinations. If we all agree on it, then that’s, you know, so it’s, it’s like that in assumptions and, and I’m writing about perception right now, uh, because I think it ties into curiosity.
It ties into behavioral issues and we all need to develop our empathy to improve our perception. So because we see things from our own reality, and if you can improve empathy, which is a big part of emotional intelligence, you’re, you’re able to, you don’t have to agree with the other person’s, uh, viewpoint, but you could at least see it and understand it. And I think a lot of personality tell us are good in helping in that respect. I mean, whether you think Myers Briggs is great or not, or disc is great or not, they still tell you about other people and things that you don’t really maybe embrace within yourself. And I think that that’s what’s so important is to, I can remember being in Myers-Briggs training, uh, to become qualified for that many years ago. And they put the tees on one side of the room and the F’s on the other side of the room.
And they said, you know, how many of you love it when people bake you cookies and all the F’s raise their hand, you know, gloriously like, yes. And I have actually a zero and a half. I had a 100% T and I’m looking at them going, why would you want people to bake, you know, in my mind, I don’t want anybody to make me cookies. They’re fattening. Why would I want it? You know, and I’m going on all this list in my head. It was really enlightening to me that how important it was for them to, for people to make that effort to give them the cookies. So whether I bake cookies or not, now, you know, I find out what it is that is their cookies. You know what I mean, what it is that they really want. And I that was an enlightening thing to me. And I think I didn’t know what, I didn’t know until.
You made assumptions that people all, if you didn’t like someone making you the cookies, that other people might,
right. Right. It would just, Oh thanks for the cookies when they left, they’d go in the trash because I don’t eat cookies. But I can imagine how important it was to them to give me the cookies and you know what I mean? And once I realized that the cookies meant more to me and I was more likely to give them cookies, you know, and it doesn’t have to be cookies, but you know what I’m saying? And that kind of a thinking process was not in my mind until I went through that exercise. And so I think that there’s a lot of things we need to go through, um, by asking questions. So we get back to curiosity to improve our perception. You don’t know unless you ask questions. And it’s, it’s interesting in some cultures you have to be careful what you ask. You don’t want to be insulting. And so you have to learn so many things about people. So I think perceptions, a lot of IQ EQ CQ of cultural quotient and CQ of a curiosity quotient. So there’s all these different factors involved.
So what are, what are some things that, you know, with a, with a team, if you’re, if you’re leading a team or part of a team, what are some things you can do in the work place to create a safe feeling, like a safe environment for people to be curious for people to ask questions they might think are dumb. Um, and do you have to, might sound funny, but do you have to force people to be curious in the workplace if it’s not natural to them?
Sometimes there’s a little a bit of that, but I think it’s more vulnerability showing it. I, I’ve had Keith crock wrote the forward to my book. He’s now under secretary in Washington, but he was the billionaire CEO, chairman of a DocuSign. And he’s probably the most humble guy. He, he’s just amazing. He, he’s, he lets himself be vulnerable. He’ll say, you know, I don’t know everything. I hire people around me. And they, you know, and he, he lets people ask questions and he. He makes people feel comfortable in that setting. And so he was a natural choice for me for the book because I really think he models what I think you need to model. We know that culture starts at the top and we know that leaders have to, to recognize that we’ve seen some studies show CEOs of some of the lowest levels of emotional intelligence so they can have some issues with empathy and they may not really be aware of it.
What I find people who hire a, uh, either me or the people I’ve trained to, to give this CCI already know the importance of curiosity because they wouldn’t have hired us if not for that. Right. So they’re buying into it so, but a lot of people could be listening to this and it’d be working for somebody who is telling them, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that kinda thing. Yeah. To be honest, I’ve asked so many people on my show, what do you do if your leader is like that? If a leader doesn’t buy in chances, are the culture’s not going to change? You can get some traction if you sometimes get under the radar things going within groups that eventually get, you know, bought into. But you know, sometimes it’s time to leave to be honest with you. And um, but you know, companies that really want to not be Kodak or blockbuster.
I mean, I know we’re tired of hearing those examples, but, um, you know, it paints a picture in people’s minds of companies who really weren’t innovative and be truly innovative. We know that, uh, AI has taken over a lot of things that used to be done and we’ve got, we know we have less than a third of the workplace engaged based on Gallup’s numbers of losing 500 billion a year and all that stuff. We know we need to get people more engaged. We know we need to do all these things. So if we’re going to move people from where they are, wouldn’t it be great to find out what they really would love to do and where they’d be better aligned? So we need to, as leaders start to ask people, you know, what, what, what makes you excited about your job? What can, you know, ask them questions, start modeling, uh, behaviors and ask a stupid question. Hey, I normally trying to get everybody else to be more curious around here. I’m going to ask you a question I normally wouldn’t have. So, you know, just as you guys, we’re all afraid we’re going to look stupid too, you know, and if you show vulnerability, it’s really helpful.
I love that. Um, the, and, and who’s flashing into my, my head right now is someone I’d love on the show at some point. Um, is Ray Dalio from Bridgewater, have you worked with him or met him at all?
No, I haven’t met Ray yet.
So have you read his book? Um, principles.
It’s fantastic. You know, its transparency and um, radical honesty and they, they do some things at Bridgewater that are, um, I mean, uh, not for everyone over the past, like in, in their meetings, he’s got this thing called the dot collector, which gets real time feedback from everyone in the room about what you’re saying, how prepared you were, your argument, the data you are bringing to the conversation. And I think he’d be a really great person for you to talk to.
Yeah, he would be. So how much does that put pressure on people for fear sake?
A lot. A lot. He, I mean, yeah, very, they’re very cognizant of the fact that people either love it or absolutely hate it working there. Um, it’s really, it seems like a, uh, it, you stressful culture, it’s good stress. Um, but I think they say it takes about 16 months for someone to get used to the radical way that they operate.
Yeah. And he would be interesting. I got to get him on the show and I’d love to hear more about that. Um, you know, it, it, I think it probably takes years of data to find out if something like that is successful or not. And do you know how long he’s been doing it?
So, yes. I, his story is fascinating. Um, Bridgewater, it’s funny this, I’ve asked you a lot of people about him and unless that’s your world, if you’re really deep in the hedge fund world, you know, most people I’ve asked are not even familiar with who he is or the company, uh, Bridgewater’s the most successful hedge fund in history. And, um, his story is, is excellent and he’s, he’s meticulous in how he goes about doing things and he starts out, I think it’s in the first couple sentences of the book, it says, I attribute most of the success in my life to knowing that I don’t know things rather than relying on what I do know. And yeah, yeah. And that’s kind of butchering language. But, um, in, in general terms, he’s, he’s all about finding who’s the most believable person based on track record and giving them a chance to give input so you find the right answer instead of you just try to make your answer the right one.
You know, it’s interesting to see what has worked and what doesn’t work. I mean, Apple was successful with Steve jobs being the way he was. You have a, you know, I had Guy Kawasaki on my show yesterday and he talked back to Steve jobs, which didn’t help him any. He says, and you know, so, you know, I think it depends on the culture. I know a lot of people I’ve worked with worked in GE and you know, we all know that they get rid of the, was it the 10% all the time weren’t effective and, and you know, so Welsh had his unique things. Everybody’s got their unique ways of, um, some things work like in sales that don’t work in other issues. Like, I’ve worked in sales for decades and the competition factor works great with sales people but maybe not in other realms. So I think it’s really interesting to see what works. One place may not work. Another place. And I, we talk about culture in so many courses. I teach, you know, when I was MBA program chair at Forbes, I, I created a lot of content, um, based on different kind of courses. And it was so interesting to see how certain courses you would get into things that you just wouldn’t get into and other courses because it just depended on where you were going to end up in your career later.
yeah, we can go on for a long time here today and this is, um, this is really, really good stuff. Um, I’m gonna have to wrap up cause I’ve got another interview in five minutes, but um, I’m, I’m just browsing around the website too, just for people who are watching. I know there’s a ton of things you have on here. You’ve got your book. This one is fairly new, right? Right. Curiosity code. This came out. Yeah. This just came out this year. Always this year. Okay. Um, yeah. And then you’ve also got, it’s not you, it’s your personality. So and more so for anyone listening who is curious about, curious about this stuff, um, definitely go to dr Diane hamilton.com for more info or it’s the curiosity code index.com. Is that right?
Yeah, you can do that. Or if you’re at the top of this screen and you, you’d see there’s curiosity code system. If you just click where your mouse is, that’ll bring up this, the curiosity code.com main site and you get to either way.
Excellent. Excellent. Um, is there anything else that you wanted to touch on before we have to sign off here, Diane?
No, they could just find me at a social media sites at Dr. Diane Hamilton. Um, that’s the basic, I mean, on LinkedIn or Twitter. Everywhere I’m at, somehow you find me or this is me. If you’re on this site, if you’re on, if you go to the radio show, you could hear it. If you go to the, where the blog is, you could read it. We transcribe all the shows. So it’s kinda nice to have links to everything and uh, feel free to, I think it’s, I’m getting close to 400 shows on there, so there’s plenty, plenty to listen to. Plenty to read.
Fantastic. Well, thanks again for taking the time today.
Thank you for having me. This was fun.
Absolutely. It was great to talk with you. Thank you.