1. Teachable People Have an Attitude Conducive to Learning
People with a teachable spirit approach each day as an opportunity for another learning experience. Their hearts are open. Their minds are alert for something new. Their attitudes are expectant.
Up to 85 percent of success in life is due to attitude, while only 15 percent is due to ability.
2. Teachable People Possess a Beginner’s Mind-set
“An open mind is the beginning of self-discovery and growth. We can’t learn anything new until we can admit that we don’t already have everything” – Erwin G. Hall
As Zen master Shrunryu Suzuki wrote in the classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”
Three things in mind:
Everyone has something to teach me.
Every day I have something to learn.
Every time I learn something, I benefit.
3. Teachable People Take Lone, Hard Looks in the Mirror
Novelist James Thorn remarked, “Probably the most honest, ‘self-made’ man ever was the one we heard say: ‘I got to the top the hard way fighting my own laziness and ignorance every step of the way.’”
“Lord, deliver me from the man who never makes a mistake, and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice.” – William Mayo
4. Teachable People Encourage Others to Speak into Their Lives
Write Peter M. Leschak asserted, “All of us are watchers—of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway—but few are observes. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing.”
“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk.” – Doug Larson
5. Teachable People Learn Something New Every Day
The secret to any person’s success can be found in his or her daily agenda. People grow and improve, not by huge leaps and bounds, but by small, incremental changes. Children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman said, “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”
Author and motivational speaker Dennis P. Kimbro gives insight into this in a piece he wrote years ago:
"I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward, or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half of the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed—you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men; and alas, of all failures, as well. Those who are failures, I have made failures. Those who are great, I have made great. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a man. You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin—it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am a habit."