Curiosity or Nosiness? Another Good Question with a Surprising Answer

“I’m just not comfortable asking personal questions. I won’t do it.”

This is a real problem for someone whose work involves providing solutions to people, making products available that will protect and help them. Selling.

But without asking questions, how can you know how to help someone, what product or service they need?

“This is something a LOT of people struggle with,” I said. “I think and talk and write a lot about curiosity and it’s place in business and life.

“So let me ask you question,” I said.

“Is there a difference between Curiosity and Nosiness? If there is, what is it?”

She thought for a minute, then her face lit up.

“I know!” she said. “Nosiness is when I ask a question like (she leaned over conspiratorially), ‘What’s your bra size?’ It makes me feel better about myself.

“Curiosity is when I ask a question that’s about you, that can help. There’s genuine interest. But nosiness is when I ask a question just to make me feel good about myself, to make me feel Better Than You.

“Is that the Right Answer?” she asked.

“I don’t think there is a Right Answer,” I replied, impressed. “But I think it’s an excellent answer.”

In that moment, she gave herself permission to use her natural curiosity to help her clients, and she gave me a new way of looking at curiosity.

I love my job…

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Image: renjith krishnan /


2 Responses to Curiosity or Nosiness? Another Good Question with a Surprising Answer

  1. FaeNathara March 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    I absolutely LOVE this answer! It’s all about intent and motivation, which are SO important!

  2. Susan March 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Hi Nathara! I agree completely!

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