If we do not have empathy or curiosity, we do not make any connections. We do not learn about other people, and we cannot relate to their situations. We disengage.
If we have no empathy and high curiosity, we might be making an intellectual connection, but we fail to relate to the humanity of the person to whom we are talking. If you are on the receiving end of the questions, it feels like you are being interrogated.
If we are high in empathy and do not have any curiosity, we can relate to people on an emotional level but fail to have any rational understanding of the situation. We sympathize yet do not really learn about them or ourselves.
When we have high empathy and curiosity, we connect. We see past our biases and preferences and are open to other ways of seeing the world and other options or ideas. Empathy and curiosity fuel each other to create connection.
High empathy on its own is too much about the other person; high curiosity on its own is too much about me and my need for information. When we combine high empathy with high curiosity, the quality of our decision making improves because we have been less biased and more inclusive in the information we have gathered.