Vivek is a relationship, result-oriented, and network-driven professional with over 60k hours of experience from the Consumer space across Urban and Rural Retail covering Modern and General Trade, Ecommerce, Digital Marketing, Youth Marketing, and Influencer Marketing areas. He has played multiple roles at Leadership position managing large teams of people. He has worked across varied sectors including Retail, FMCG, Fashion, Pharma, Wellness, and Toys with extensive travel within India and various international markets.
Students at a young age have to go through a series of ups and downs. As they keep moving from one class to the next, their weakness starts to haunt them even further. The ones who may not be getting good grades may not necessarily be weak – it’s just that their ability to ask the right questions might be a limiting factor!
Let us begin with a short story –
The school bell rang
The 1st period was Maths and Divya had her heart beating …thinking about what she would do when her teacher is going to ask her to solve a question in the class.
This isn’t a surprise and was told to her a few days back.
When the topic was getting discussed a few days back in the class, she didn’t ask any questions although she had a number of them in her mind.
Why did that happen to her?
Well, she has been holding that belief of what will others think about her question
And as an introvert or someone who engages only with a close coterie of people, she was reluctant
Does this situation connect with you?
Well, this is what the scenario is for a lot of students today.
What they lack in their real sense is developing the sense of ‘Inquisitiveness’
We can also say that this is synonymous to Curiosity and it implies as the desire for learning more or eagerness to know and learn new things.
What is the way that one achieves this objective?
By asking and relating more to any given situation. An example could be how a young mind goes to a place of interest during their school trips or with their family and are keen to know a variety of things about that place.
Why is this aspect so important today? Wasn’t that the case earlier?
Yes, it was always important however – its importance has been growing at manifold levels.
The entire world of inquisitiveness takes one deeper asking the Why, What, When, Where, How, Which type of questions – It all depends upon the context in which anything is getting discussed.
Here are lists of things that could be done to enhance this skill amongst our future leaders:
- Always encourage young students to ask questions – What this means is that even if they have none – we could follow the approach other way round wherein asking the student on a certain aspect may invoke a sense of thinking into him/her. The idea is – one shouldn’t judge their ability to ask the right type of question since it is linked to cultivating a habit for them.
- Try new things – While this may be encouraged as a trait, the idea here must be to evaluate what questions have the student been trying to solve rather than what has been the output. In many workplace scenarios, the output defines the ability, and thus in the growing years, the learnings from what went well and what didn’t could add a lot of learnings.
- Searching answers – There always are a lot of questions that could be given for the young mind to search on the internet. This forces them to use a variety of dimensions to get to the desired approach. It is like asking – Why do people do what they do? This also gives them a clear-headed direction of what all could be done on the internet.
- Get into ‘Why’ mode – The key to developing young minds for their careers is to entice them to find this reasoning in every discussion. This would encourage them to build both their left brain as well as right brain. Let’s not forget – All great inventions and discoveries have happened on the foundation of a solid ‘Why’. If this wasn’t prevalent, those wouldn’t have happened.
- Embed the art and science of Creativity at a young age – As young students get into their adulthood– they realise that all the shortcuts that they have used over the years is great however they need to genuinely think of creative solutions to challenges which aren’t part of the rule book. Learn something new that was never known is also a form of Creativity.
- Change the pattern at the right age – What comes across a lot of times in front of us is the fact that we are creatures from our past. We get driven by patterns and that makes us do things in a similar fashion. Developing Inquisitiveness or Curiosity is all about breaking that pattern which may have got developed for years in an adult. Thus, if this process starts at an early age – the probability for having the right angle to things can eventually create a lot of magic.
- Developing the habit of solving problems – The best of the technology has been developed by human brains and thus activation of the thinking part is always the key to tackling bigger and bolder challenges. This is where nurturing the young minds can make a lot of difference where they get to understand the importance of breaking down any problem into smaller parts and then gradually finding the right course of action.
- Relishing newer information – This ensures that a solid base of the ongoing learning curve is built for a young mind not just to absorb but also build up a lot on that. Our country has been inching actively towards becoming an Innovation first economy and focusing on this trait can work wonders.
- Make new connections – In the desire to know and learn more, directly or indirectly, newer connections take progress and those can open gateways of development for all stakeholders. All this while actively experiencing and making sense of the world.
- This becomes the ladder – To what? Well, learning and developing the most important aspects of Critical Thinking. Because of having developed a better sense to ask questions, the aspects of finding solutions to any challenges become better approachable.
To summarise, these pointers are leading the young student to gradually become a better professional and have the sense of self-awareness and self-confidence to deal with resilience thereby being future-ready.
Having this in place also means that one has been nurtured with a strong base on which one could grow appropriately. It would be akin to the growing years of any tree for it to gradually generate a lot of fruits and last many seasons.
What Albert Einstein had said many years back holds true on this even today – It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education
Time has come for our young minds to move beyond IQ and EQ and start to embrace CQ i.e, develop their Curiosity Quotient and in turn become more inquisitive and open to newer experiences. It’s just that now is the time to make it an integral part of formal education.