We like being seen as competent at what we do. We really like being seen as exceptional. What we don’t like, and avoid at all costs, is being seen as a beginner. The thing is, without being a beginner first, you can never become exceptional at something.
As a trainer here at dotStaff™, I notice some clients who have employees who will do anything they can to avoid working in our software. Either because of their anxiety with learning new software, or because they feel they don’t have time, they decline invitations to train, deciding instead to just “wing it.” What happens when they do that? It causes payment delays to the vendor. So much depends on both clients and vendors using our system correctly, to keep the payment process flowing. If one side drops the ball because they’re unfamiliar with the process, payment will be delayed.
When we were very young, we knew how fun learning was. We were completely full of wonder at all the stuff we got to learn each day. At 3, my daughter became fascinated with learning to crack an egg so it didn’t smush into a million pieces. She wanted to know how you get that gooey stuff out without getting eggshells in it. She broke dozens of eggs before she finally figured it out. Somehow though, as time passes, at some mysterious point, many of us become disenchanted with learning. As a result of this attitude, we pass by really juicy stuff that will make our lives richer.
Let’s continue to celebrate our personal strengths—for our knowledge base, our problem solving skills, our leadership qualities. You lead with what you know. I am advocating that we also celebrate being learners. Right now I’m learning about blog writing: What makes a valuable blog, what’s worth writing about, what’s my own style? I’m still playing with all of the above. Because it fascinates me, I’m sticking with it and really excited about the possibilities. Who knows? Maybe someday, it will become as effortless as cracking an egg.
How would embracing the Learner in you make a difference in your job? What have you been thinking about learning but avoided because it’s “too much trouble.” I would love to hear from you!