Lauren Yee, How to Cultivate Your Curiosity and That of Others – InnovaBuzz 449

Lauren Yee

Lauren Yee, Cultivator of Curiosity

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Lauren Yee. Lauren is a builder of community and a process-driven problem solver. Finding ways to help individuals, improve ideas, and streamline processes is what makes her come alive.

Before starting her own business, Lauren helped build the largest LEGO-inspired STEM company in the United States. She has worked with the Golden State Warriors, Google, LinkedIn, Netflix, Southwest Airlines, and Workday helping them to build community, establish inclusivity, and create psychologically safe work environments where staff can thrive.

Lauren has a compelling story of having to grow up fast, navigate massive uncertainty, and how that shaped who she is today.

In our discussion, Lauren talked to me about:

  • Being comfortable with not knowing the answers
  • The difference between fitting in and belonging
  • Adulting like a child

Jeff Harry in episode 428 introduced us to Lauren.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Being comfortable with not knowing what to do makes things potentially exciting rather than scary. @ItsMeLaurenYee on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Lauren Yee, Cultivator of Curiosity

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • You can be weird in the best way.
  • There’s a lot of expectations on being successful, but there isn’t one right way to do it. We all have different interests and it’s OK to be outside of the expected norm.
  • Humans are evolutionary. We are all just testing a bunch of stuff and we learn things by making mistakes and potentially failing. 
  • Curiosity is asking a lot of questions as well as wondering and imagining. It is creativity and innovation.
  • There are so many options and there isn’t one way to do things. 
  • Being comfortable with not knowing what to do makes things potentially exciting rather than scary.
  • Change can be scary and uncomfortable but it could also be exciting. 
  • Do things like a kid. Kids play and are curious. These things are still important as adults.
  • We may have a lot more responsibilities as adults, but we are more experienced and capable of holding multiple things at once in the sense that something can be scary and stressful but it could also be exciting and amazing.
  • Different people have different perspectives. What you think is happening and what others think is happening, might be the same but it also might be completely different because we all have different experiences, viewpoints, and resources that we perhaps don’t know about.
  • You are learning when you’re curious. Curiosity is being in a mindset of wanting to learn because you don’t understand.
  • Owning your curiosity and cultivating it with others means being OK with people asking you questions. It’s neither an argument nor questioning of your capability. It’s understanding that if you can get into those kinds of spaces, there will be more room for growth.
  • Give yourself and others permission to not know and make mistakes. Be willing to ask actively to make people feel that it’s safe. 
  • Every person we meet knows more about something than we do. Everybody has value in knowledge of something.
  • Any kind of curiosity requires your interest. Being interested in something allows you to remember and dig deeper. Thus, it will become more meaningful and useful to you.
  • Be interested in people as people. Having a good team environment of trust and respect requires having faith in everybody in getting the job done.
  • Start adulting like a kid by learning through play. 
  • Every human is different and every group of people is different. You and your team may be doing different things but you are all working on the same goal. For something to work smoothly and efficiently, you have to meet people where they’re at so that you can communicate well and understand what’s going on. 
  • We are all human all the time. We’re just in different environments. We have to bring the humanity back to work for it to work well.
  • Lead by example. Prove to people that it’s OK not to know. Help them understand that they can ask questions and make mistakes. 
  • People believe their actions and what results will be. In order to change that, you have to change their experiences to have a chance at changing their beliefs which will then change their potential actions and results.
  • It’s not about whose fault it was. It’s about understanding the situation and fixing the process. It is trying to understand what went down and learning from it so you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future rather than figuring out who’s to blame.
  • People who worry all the time if they’re going to get in trouble will not function at their highest potential. Be transparent and clear with your team that it’s OK to make mistakes and that you always got their back.
  • Fitting in is not the same as belonging. It takes a lot of energy and effort to fit in. Just be yourself and find where you belong, because that is where you are meant to be. 
Owning your curiosity and cultivating it with owners means being OK with people asking you questions. It's understanding that if you can get into those kinds of spaces, there will be more room for growth. @ItsMeLaurenYee on #InnovaBuzz… Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Lauren’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Lean in to being like a kid. Question everything. Find ways to get out of your own head. If you’re trying to solve something, think about it in a totally ridiculous way. Get weird and silly.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Follow your curiosity. There’s a reason why you’re excited about something. Listen to yourself and lean in to it.
  3. Keep project/client on track –  Manage expectations from the beginning and along the way. Communication is key. Find out what is most important to them.
  4. Differentiate – Be yourself. Don’t try to be different. Be different by not trying to fit in.

To Be a Leader

There is no one right way or answer 99% of the time. And sometimes, there isn’t any answer. Be willing to try things, make mistakes, and fail. Just do what you want to for yourself or your business and keep your values aligned. You’ll be more comfortable even when you fail when you are in line with yourself. There’s not a right way so just know yourself and do something.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Lauren through her website and on Twitter.


Cool Things About Lauren

  • She’s the Founder and Chief Operations Officer of This.Us.Now, a professional education company that empowers people and organizations to work with better information and more joy.
  • She holds a degree in Design with emphasis in Interior Architecture. 
  • She loves puzzles and pizza. 

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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