“I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”
There is so much for me to learn. I know that. But it would be much easier if I didn’t mind being taught…
It’s not exactly that I mind being taught. It’s that there still is a part of me that thinks I’m supposed to know everything. That thinks I can’t admit ignorance or mistakes or ineptitude.
Yes, I coach my clients to let go of their need to know everything and their tendency to not admit their ignorance, mistakes, and ineptitude. But, to be honest with you, I can coach about it because I’m that way too. (No surprise huh?)
So how do we let ourselves learn, even if – or especially if – we don’t like being taught?
For me at least, and it seems for many of my clients as well, it starts with a willingness to live with the discomfort of admitting I’m less than perfect. I know we’ve written numerous times about perfection being an enemy of Thoughtful Leadership, but I am someone whose brother once told them, “You know, you even try to do not perfect perfectly!” Yes, I cursed at him, and yes, he was right. Letting go of my drive to be, if not perfect, damn close to perfect is still one of my greatest challenges.
But, luckily, I teach this to clients, and I have learned to model it.
We learn to live with the discomfort of being less than perfect, and then we learn to admit to others that we aren’t perfect and we don’t know something. Then we learn to be open to gaining an understanding of something new. We remember how the new knowledge will help us. We focus on the fact that letting others teach us something will not only expand our horizons, but it will also, most likely, strengthen our relationship with that person.
We teach ourselves to like being taught. It is good to learn.
How have you learned to let yourself be taught?
Click here to comment.
If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.
For support in being willing and able to be taught more, contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to receive The Thoughtful Leaders™ Blog posts via e-mail and receive a copy of “Ending Leadership Frenzy: 5 Steps to Becoming a More Thoughtful and Effective Leader.”
Photo Credit: Maria Marganingsih/Bigstock.com
I really enjoyed this post. I think that have a teachable personality (for lack of a better term) is a character trait that’s highly underrated. It can be hard to admit when you’ve made a mistake, but people who can own up to that earn a lot of respect and admiration.
Thank you for your comment, Lydia. We couldn’t agree more! Being teachable is indeed an admirable trait.