People who are unteachable are characterized by resistance to new information and to being corrected.  They are opinionated, reject feedback, and assume they are always right.  Have you ever worked or tried to complete a project with a person fitting this description?  People such as this are often called “bull-headed,” “stubborn,” or a “know-it-all.”  Too many times, the unteachable person’s heart is in the right place and they want to succeed, but because they are not teachable, they fail.  Often, they do not learn from their mistakes.

What are the enemies of teachability?

  • Pride.  Prideful people think they know best, and they do not see the value in seeking input from others.  Pride prevents us from taking advantage of learning opportunities.
  • Self-centeredness.  Self-centeredness can make us resistant to necessary change because we want to do things our own way.  If we believe that our opinions or motives are more important than the opinions or motives of others, we will not be teachable.
  • Busyness.  Believing that we are too busy to consider other ideas and solutions prevents us from gaining wisdom and knowledge that lead to better decision making.

As leaders, we must always remain teachable, modeling this principle for our teams and those we count on to thrive and achieve their personal and professional best.  We should encourage those we lead to grow through experience, learn from their mistakes, and allow feedback.  Our minds have the amazing ability to continue to expand our understanding; it is up to each of us to unlock that potential.

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