Remaining teachable should be at the top of your personal and professional development goals. What does it mean to remain “teachable”? It means fostering, maintaining and pursuing the desire to listen and learn. By listening and learning, you will grow. Being teachable is not something that you’re born with, it’s not a matter of competence, it is more a matter of attitude. It’s being open to learning, and relearning, throughout your life. It’s a willingness to really listen to other’s ideas, to accept when those ideas may be better than your own, and to admit when you are wrong and learn from it.
Being teachable has a multitude of benefits; by constantly learning, you are constantly working on growing yourself as a human being, which keeps you happy and successful. If we stop learning, we stop growing and moving. That’s why it’s so important to learn something new every day!
To determine if you are teachable, ask yourself:
- Am I aware of my strengths and weaknesses?
- Do I seek help when I need it?
- Can I accept that someone else may have an opinion that is better than mine? Am I open to hearing those ideas?
- Do I learn from criticism?
- Do I listen more than I talk?
- Do I regard failure as an opportunity to learn? (This can apply to your own failure or learning from someone else’s mistakes.)
- Do I read books or articles to learn?
- Do I focus more on solutions rather than problems?
- Am I comfortable with being uncomfortable occasionally? (Sometimes great learning comes from when we get outside of our comfort zone.)
- Do I take a step back and watch and observe before acting in a situation?
- Can I admit when I’m wrong? Am I open to changing my opinion when presented with additional information?
- Am I open to trying new things or trying old things in a new way?
- Am I open to changing my routine?
- Am I willing to ask for directions?
- Do I ask a lot of questions and have a “seek to understand” mentality?
- Am I willing to appear “unknowledgeable” in the questions I ask? To let others know that I don’t have the answer?
- Do I realize that I don’t know everything that that there is always something new to learn?
Every day we are presented with the opportunity to learn something new, or to relearn something old. Be open to change, open to growth, open to that learning. You will find yourself happier and more successful.
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“What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable.” ― Roger Ebert