Barriers to Learning

By Mainak Biswas August 17, 2007 - 736 views

Answer this:

You are sitting in your cubicle when you overhear two of your colleagues discussing a design issue. You do not like one of the guys in that conversation as you think he is a bit stubborn know-it-all type.  You then realize that they are talking about implementing a fancy new component. You have infact tried to implement this same component in one of your previous projects and found out that it makes the whole system unstable. Your last project nearly got cancelled becuase of the delays due to instability of that component but you managed at last to find a work-around for that problem.

Will you still getup from your cubicle to share what you know ?

Now answer this:

You consider yourself to be a great programmer. Presently you are assigned to a project and you came across a fancy new component that could cut the development time by 10%. You are boasting about your great find to one of your colleagues, when he tells you that a guy in the next cubicle has worked on this earlier and there were some issues.

What would you do – will you ask for help?

There are extremely high chances that you have found it to be difficult to say “yes” to both these scenarios. As easy as the answers may seem, learning is often jeopardized by “Ego” and “Why-should-I?” syndrome. There are two important conditions for learning:

Be a Teacher - Help others even when you are not asked for it 

By teaching, I mean voluntary sharing of knowledge. No body knows everything about anything. If you share knowledge with others, then other will share knowledge with you. Thus, both of you will be more knowledgeable in the end and learn much more than what you would have learned individually. Don’t consider yourself to be a gift to mankind and make people come begging for your attention.

Be a student – Be willing to seek out and accept help

Sounds silly as it is but people love to reinvent the wheel and sometimes, they end up making square wheels on right when a perfectly rounded wheel is already there in the left. You have to learn to ask for help and have the humility and modesty to accept it. The student attitude is precondition if you really are interested in learning anything.

Page Scrolled