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Are you teachable? Would your boss, your co-workers, your children, or your significant other describe you as such? To get the conversation rolling, I’ve jotted down a list of qualities I feel individuals who demonstrate strong teachability possess. Said peoples will likely have a(n)…

  • Desire to learn
  • Desire to understand
  • Interest in the unknown
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Openness to be influenced
  • Openness to be corrected
  • Strong relationship / connection with their teacher
  • Inclination to pay attention
  • Willingness to ask for help
  • Aspiration to achieve
  • Propensity towards work

While I can’t speak for you – but by all means I will – there’s a good chance you’ve only got a portion of those aforementioned qualities, not all. You may have a strong desire to learn, but only for the things that interest you. You may be great at paying attention, but only to the things you want to hear.

Does this make you altogether unteachable? Certainly not.
Does it prompt in you some much needed personal development? I hope so.
(If not, this is the part of the blog where you can stop reading and stop pursuing excellence. Your choice.)

Keep reading Ricky Bobby. Keep reading.

I’m going to spend the rest of this post, discussing the concept of teachability in hopes of demonstrating its positive correlation with fitness results (or any results for that matter). In an attempt to get to the point, let me paint a few examples where being teachable plays into health and wellness results:

  • Have you been struggling to eat better due to a confusion between asparagus and hot cheetos – or – do you lack the desire to learn more about food and food choices?
  • Have your strength results plateaued at the hands of an unknowledgeable coach/trainer – or – do you have a general unwillingness to ask for help?
  • Is there too much misinformation out there about diet and weight loss these days – or – are you closed off to being influenced by quality intel?
  • Is everyone around you having unprecedented success – or – do you lack the propensity to work hard?

Hot cheetos and takis. A match made in heaven

The examples could go on and on, each one drawing from the teachable qualities above, all while highlighting a hypothetical individual’s need for growth in that area (although I’m suspecting the individual you have in mind isn’t so hypothetical anymore. Cough.. It’s you.. Cough). And so, as I always seek to leave you with some deliverables, take some me-time in the next few days to unpack this concept of being more teachable. To start the self conversation off, might I suggest you…

  1. Press into what your own intuitions were whispering while you read the qualities of teachability list (FYI one of my much needed areas of work is “openness to being corrected” and usually gets whispered to me in the voice of Ian McKellen’s Gandalf).

  2. Be encouraged that these qualities are rooted in and ultimately changed by your environment – an environment you influence and help control. This is empowering as you yourself hold the keys to the likelihood (or unlikelihood) of reaching your fullest teachable potential.
  3. Realize you are not alone. Parents, life partners, mentors, coaches, teachers, and trainers also hold a primary role in altering an individual’s environment. Therefore, practitioners like myself can help you identify your lack of teachability while simultaneously altering your environment to seek a positive change. And that my friends is what this very blog was written to accomplish. How’s that for meta?

    All I do is teach, teach, teach no matter what..

Taylor Gish is an Exclusive Coach at MSP Fitness and Lead Instructor to the Strength+Endurance Program. His individual training focus is on the sport of Olympic Weightlifting where he has been competing locally and nationally since 2013. Taylor enjoys cooking, eating, and spending time with his wife and kids — in no particular order.