I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t want to think of themselves as a curious person and yet their know-it-all attitude suggests otherwise. Here are some signs of a learn-it-all, or those who practice curiosity regularly in their lives.
For three years, I ran a 6-month fellowship program. I noticed some people did really well and other people really struggled and it took me a while to figure out what differentiated the two. And then I landed on curiosity. By the third cohort, we started interviewing for that. Curiosity helps people persevere when times are difficult, it helps them be resourceful when facing a challenge, or to be empathetic to other people, because they want to know.
There are some people who are so focused on getting to a particular outcome or result that they would be the naysayers and they didn’t wanna move forward. For the longest time, I thought curiosity was a trait. Now I think of it as a practice, because I realize that when you have more people on a team who are practicing curiosity, they can actually uplift the morale of everyone else. And when you have people who just care about the outcomes and not the process, then they can actually take down the morale. Here are some signs of someone who is a learn-it-all:
Here are the 17 signs of a learn-it-all:
- Is comfortable with not knowing all the answers, and admitting “I don’t know”
- Admits that they are not a perfectionist
- Asks questions to clarify, not to show off how much they know
- Listens to understand, not respond
- Likes to try new things
- Talks more about “learning” than about “knowing”
- Talks about what they want to learn, instead of what they want to accomplish or what the results are going to be
- When they talk about mistakes they’ve made, they talk about the lessons they learned, instead of talking about what they would’ve done to avoid those mistakes
- Has a diverse group of friends (However you can define “diversity”)
- Talks about the people that they learn from
- Reads books, listens to podcasts, or pursues hobbies that don’t have anything to do with their job or profession
- Tries to learn things that they know there is a chance they might never excel at it
- Listens to different genres of music
- Watches different genres of films
- Reads both fiction and nonfiction
- Looks up things to learn more, not to check if they were right or wrong
- Thinks more about the journey than the destination
Now, you don’t have to have all these signs to be a learn-it-all. I certainly don’t.
This is just the starter list. I’d love to hear your suggestions as well. I want to add to this list.