No Need To Learn
How much does it bug you, working with folks that don’t or won’t learn? Folks that keep banging the rocks together, churning out crap code or following old myths and status quo policies, rather than exploring, experimenting, and thinking for themselves?
If we accept, as I do, that people’s behaviour is always based on getting their needs met, then it’s easy to explain this kind of situation.
The fact that it bugs you means some of your needs are not getting met. And the fact that they’re not learning means they have no needs that might get met by them learning stuff.
Actually, that latter assertion is a little too brassy. If they’re not learning, it could mean that they have do some needs that are not getting met, that learning could help with, but they don’t see learning as a viable strategy in their context.
Of course, if they don’t see learning as a viable strategy, then they’re pretty much unlikely to learn to see that learning could be a factor in a more effective strategy for getting their needs met. We might call this a predicament.
What To Do?
Is there anything we can do in this kind of situation?
A couple of things come to mind.
Empathy Earns The Right To Dialogue
Empathise with them and their predicament. Not in a snarky “I guess you’re feeling frustrated that you can’t learn anything” kind of way. Rather, something like “I guess you’re feeling frustrated that you can’t move forward.” Chance are, patient empathising along these lines might earn you the right to talk with them about your own needs, your needs which are not getting met. The ensuing dialogue may benefit both parties. And lead to both parties better getting their needs met. Maybe even some joy will come of it.
Experience Can Be A Great Teacher
Alternatively, see if you can create a situation where their learning something would help them better get one of their needs met. This experiential, or normative, learning may help them see – perhaps for the first time – the value of learning. This can be the gateway, with reinforcement, to their choosing to replace one or more of their existing strategies for getting their needs met, with strategies that involve learning.
No Perceived Need, No Change
Remember, many people see absolutely no need for learning stuff.
Unless they choose to connect learning with more effective strategies for meeting the needs they do have, learning will remain conspicuous by its absence. You’ll continue to be bugged by it. And nobody wants that.