WATCH: How Well Are You Seeking The Truth?

In this episode, I’d like to talk about ‘The Paradox of Insightful Curiosity’. It’s one of the twelve behavioural paradoxes developed by Dr. Dan Harrison. Now, a paradox could be described as two statements which are appearing to be contradictory but are in fact both true. And, in Dr. Dan Harrison’s Paradoxes, we have two behavioural traits which appear to be contradictory but are in fact synergistic.


So, for example, in ‘The Paradox of Insightful Curiosity’, we’ve got the trait of being ‘Certain’. Like, “I know”. And, it’s a tendency to be clear and confident in one’s opinions. Making conclusions and being a confident in one’s opinion.

Open and Reflective

We also have ‘Open and Reflective’, which is a tendency to be, “I want to know”, “I want to learn more”, “I want to seek out the views and opinions of others”. And, if we have high ‘Certain’ but low ‘Open and Reflective, and we end up in the quadrant up here. We could actually, end up being very confident and good at making quick conclusions but we may neglect some facts and opinions of others.


And that can have us come across as being ‘Dogmatic’ or arrogant or argumentative. And, that can damage relationships. Whereas, if we’re very ‘Open and Reflective’, but low on ‘Certain’. We can actually find ourselves that we’re very good at brainstorming, we’re good at listening and seeking out the opinions of others.


However, we may neglect to make quick decisions, come to conclusions and clarify the views and expectations of others. And therefore, we may come across as being ‘Inconclusive’. It’s an unintended consequence. So, what we really need to look at is being both ‘Certain’ – “I know” and ‘Open and Reflective’ – “I want to know”.

Truth Exploring’

And bring those together to go for ‘Truth Exploring’, where we’re more interested in what’s right rather than who’s right. And we’re seeking out and being curious about the opinions of others and then coming to conclusions based on the information available. That helps us make better decisions especially in this time of great complexity and change.

So, I’d like you to consider: Where are you on this? What are your tendencies with this paradox? And, what are the tendencies of the team with this paradox?

Because when it comes to ‘The Paradox of Insightful Curiosity’, it’s really important to stay curious! Thank you!



With best regards,

David Klaasen

Talent4Performance help business leaders clarify complexity. We inspire people and drive continuous performance improvement, so they can convert thinking into action and results.

©David Klaasen – 2022