One of the best qualities you can have at work or in general is being ‘trainable’. As simple as it sounds, it’s not a concept that is always easily grasped. Being trainable extends from the ability to learn new information being taught to you as well as understanding culture and the people who define it. Your receptiveness to new information can greatly make or break your success in a new role and It is something you will want to be attentive to. It is an entirely teachable quality and it is something worth pursuing if not already in possession.

The amount of experience you have is irrelevant when you accept a new role. You still have to be receptive to the way in which tasks are completed. For example, what you learn in school is not always practical in a business setting. Nobody will step into their job on day one and perform as if they have been working there for the past 30 years. By thinking that way you are automatically diminishing your growth potential since you know it all. What else could you possibly be taught? Wrong. Even an old dog can learn new tricks.


Aside from the mindset that you know it all, you may simply have a problem opening your ears and closing your mouth. When you’re being trained at a new task, the number one rule to abide by is to listen. Of course, you’ll have questions, but before you ask your question, see if your trainer answers it. There’s a process in place for how things are done, and you may be 3 steps ahead, but you still must go through the motions. There’s a reason they’re showing you what they are, and if you’re constantly questioning their methods or results you may present yourself as incapable of learning. Let them get through their process and then ask questions if you still have them.



Remaining attentive is another quality of being trainable. Your trainer may look to you in between points to ensure you’re following along at which time you need to be responsive. Simply shaking your head yes does not always do the trick. Try reiterating what they taught so they know that you’re fully understanding, and they can move on to the next step. If you look like a deer in headlights or are too afraid to speak, they may assume you don’t understand.



Be receptive to constructive criticism. There will likely come a point in your training process where the teacher will ask you to perform a task and you may make a mistake – it’s expected. Be willing to learn why you may have made that mistake and what you could do to correct it in the future. Making a mistake is the quickest way to correction, and nobody’s perfect. When your trainer is explaining why you may have made a mistake, listen. Now is not the time for you to give an excuse. If your mistake poses a question, ask it. But you do not want to be the person who has an answer for everything.



Recognize that everyone has something to teach us. Everybody learns in a different way. Meaning that maybe one person is teaching you the same information in a different way than another did, and chances are you may pick up on something you didn’t know. Whether it’s the receptionist or the CEO everybody has something they can teach you that you may not have known and being open to learning from any source will only increase your potential. Someday you may be able to teach someone something you know that they didn’t.


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