Remember these storybook characters from your childhood? Curious George. Alice. Peter Rabbit. These too-curious characters wandered where they didn't belong and were always getting themselves in trouble. From an early age on, we were taught that being curious is problematic.

In yesterday's edition of Promotional Consultant Today, we discussed why curiosity is a rare commodity in today's workforce and uncovered some of the character traits displayed by employees and leaders who have cultivated their curiosity. In today's edition we debunk the childhood characterizations and look at why curious employees and leaders are so valuable to an organization.

In her article "Why Curiosity is a Powerful Trait in the Best Employees," Martyn Basset, founder and president of the management and leadership recruiting firm Martyn Basset Associates, delineates four reasons why those who are curious make better employees.

They are natural leaders. Curious employees are always seeking to learn more about the business and the customers, which starts with the realization that no matter how much they know, they don't know everything—and they are willing to admit it. They ask questions and listen to others to learn as much as they can in each interaction. The deep understanding they gain on the business and the traits that get them there tend to make curious employees natural leaders.

They have more initiative. In addition to having a drive to learn all they can, curious employees also have the drive to seek out new opportunities and are willing to take on more workload to continue to grow and satisfy their curiosity.

They are innovative. By constantly questioning the status quo, curious employees set themselves up as leading innovators in the organization, uncovering new and better ideas for ongoing incremental improvement to groundbreaking innovations.

They are problem solvers. According to the Harvard Business Review, curious employees are more tolerant of ambiguity. Being less afraid of embarking into the unknown or unstructured makes them more capable of solving problems.

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Source: Martyn Bassett is the founder of Toronto's premier recruiting firm for sales, marketing and product management roles in the technology industry. She has more than 30 years of recruitment experience.