Be Humble and Teachable: Regardless of position, title, or experience, we can all learn from anyone if we are humble.
I was servicing an account in Pasco Thursday that processes carrots into baby carrots. (For the record, at the time, I did not realize that baby carrots are not genetically engineered small carrots, instead they are just chopped and peeled regular carrots. Face, palm.)
At the end of the service as we were doing paperwork in the employee lunch room and saw a sign with the company values. The one that caught my eye was: Be Humble and Teachable: Regardless of position, title, or experience, we can all learn from anyone if we are humble. Wow. So good. I hope they live up to it.
And the thing is, I hope we all live up to that value. To be humble is to be with everyone, to disregard rank, file, or circumstance and to be part of the group. To be teachable is to be vulnerable, to be available for input from everyone. This includes your peers and your subordinates.
I was in a situation recently where a colleague said to me “what could I learn from them?” My first thought was “EVERYTHING.” Their circumstances were so different! Not learning would be a travesty. When I place myself in a humble position, I can learn from everyone. From everyone I encounter I can be taught, I can learn, I can experience. By being humble I can decide to listen, to hear, to be influenced.
Even a jerk. I had a coach one time talk to me about jerks.
If you encounter an a$$hole, think about what you are witnessing. You may never be around such an a$$hole again. Study them. Learn their quirks. Adjust so that you don’t become like them but don’t dismiss their behavior. You may never encounter someone like that again.
I’ve thought about that every time I’ve run into someone I didn’t understand. Stop. Listen. Ask. Learn. Be humble, be teachable. The rest will work itself out.