Willingness to Learn

Many of us are reluctant to learn from the people closest to us—our authorities, colleagues, staff and friends. Rather than being open to learning, we close ourselves off out of embarrassment, fear, stubbornness, or pride. It’s almost as if we say to ourselves, “I have already learned all that I can [or want to learn] from this person; there is nothing else I can [or need to] learn.”

It’s sad, because often the people closest to us know us the best. They are sometimes able to see ways in which we are acting in a self-defeating manner and can offer very simple solutions. If we are too proud or stubborn to learn, we lose out on some wonderful, simple ways to improve our lives.

Remain open to the suggestions of your authorities and colleagues and staff working under you. Ask seniors and colleagues, “What are some of my blind spots? What mistakes do I consistently make?” By this simple process you end up getting some good advice. It’s such a simple shortcut for growth, yet almost no one uses it. All it takes is a little courage and humility, and the ability to let go of your ego. This is especially true if you are in the habit of ignoring suggestions, taking them as criticism.

Pick something that you feel the person whom you are asking is qualified to answer. Sometimes the advice we get usually prevents us from having to learn something the hard way.

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8 thoughts on “Willingness to Learn

  1. Very true. I’ve been on both sides of this. 🙂 When correcting others, to the extent that even when I know that person’s making a mistake, I won’t bother to correct them coz they’d just think I’m a miss “know-it-all”. Not that I’m much better 😀 coz there have been times I’ve resisted someone’s comments on me with a simple “Who is he/she to tell me what I need to be doing? Are they my parents?” 🙂

    Nice post. 🙂

    • I will not claim, that I haven’t suffered from this syndrome. I had problems asking for help from others very early in my career too. In my case it was more to do with fear of asking for help than an attitude issue. But once I realized “Everyone can’t know everything” life has been much easier.

  2. Yeah ! I guess ego most of the times plays a huge role, atleast in workplace. Things like “Why should I ask him, Im a senior and more experienced” kinda thing. I’ve picked up many things from my juniors, small tid-bits that turned out to be very effective.

    One more thing I’ve noticed (again related to work) once someone is good with one area. He/she stops learning unrelated to that area, thinking thats not my area, I don’t belong there kinds. Thats again wrong, one has to be jack of all trades and very good at couple of things to survive in today’s world.

    Do not hesitate to ask for clarification when in doubt, even if it is trivially silly. One thing I do while asking, something stupid, foolish or a trivial question is to be open about.

    • Firstly I will be very honest here, I have learnt a lot from you. It was alway easy to approach to you for help.
      I agree with you, Once somebody gain experience it’s the ego which creates a barrier for learning and before that it is the fear of sounding too silly. There are also psychological things like you might not like the attitude of the person from whom you need to get the help.

      P.S. : To become “Jack of all trades”, CG would be one of the best place to start. 😀

  3. Nice post Vish, everyone must have been through this kind of situation or atleast must be going through this situation. Either we agree to it or not each person in every corner of the planet develop a sense of ego as they grow from a kid to a teenager to an adult. So its probably a mix of fear, ego that makes us not to listen another person’s advice which might be good for us. All we have to do is lend a good ear to what he/she has to say and then evaluate if it makes any good to you.

    Really Good one dude ….

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