“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
On occasion, we have students in our workshops who are clearly there at gunpoint, compelled to attend by the people paying their salary. They tend to make it very clear, from the very first day that they consider the entire exercise “below” them. Whether it is rolling of eyes, the not-so-subtle shaking of their head, or just simply an obnoxious smirk, they make it clear, right from the beginning, that they consider this an exercise of “waiting it out”.
When we encounter these individuals, we try to have the patience and professionalism to give them a chance to turn the corner on their own. Students who, despite their initial skepticism, have an “ah-ha” moment often reward us. However, every once in awhile, there is the one hardcore holdout who is unwilling to expand his or her horizons and is more interested in proving how smart they already are instead of seeking out learning opportunities.
While it would be easy to be angry about the obnoxious behavior, it is better to simply look with pity on someone who is unwilling to acknowledge that there is something to learn from everyone in every situation.
I learn new things every single day. I read voraciously and I go out of my way to attend professional conferences to seek out the best new ideas and perspectives. Bottom line? I proactively invest in myself as a salesperson. I think all salespeople should seek to do the same.
Anyone who is unwilling to grow and learn will always be relegated to the role of individual contributor. They will never be a leader, whether in thought, sales or life.