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How do you help someone want to learn

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posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 12:49 PM
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Wasn't sure if I should put this here or in rants, but I suppose it's not all that ranty.

So, there's this dude who's been at my work for about 3 months now. He's a decent guy, seems like generally a pretty good human being, has a positive attitude, works hard, gets along with everyone, says he wants to learn and by far not the worst person i've had to work with. But, his attitude towards his mistakes and his actual ability to learn are fairly lacking.

He's been shuffled around a few different places in the shop now. He started helping me, but just didn't really pick up the machine stuff so they moved him to install, same thing happened there so for the last couple weeks he's been back in the shop learning to hand polish.

Yesterday he came over to help me and was fairly dour, he told me he'd pissed off the guy who was training him because he hadn't learned things he was supposed to by now. He was pretty upset and worried he was letting everyone down and felt stupid because he's a fast learner and should know it.

So I went over and took a look. He's actually improved a fair bit from when he first started. The first things i seen him polished i didn't even know how it was physically possible to # something up as bad as he'd done. But now, it's still not quite what it's supposed to be, but it's a hell of a lot better.

I gave him a bit of advice, taught him the technique i use to do what he was trying to do and basically told him to practice, over and over again. Grab random scrap pieces around the shop, bevel them all, then go ask the guy that's teaching him what's wrong with them, do it over and over until he says they're good. He never did though. He practiced for a bit got disheartened then found random things to do the rest of the day.

This morning he's just been digging the trenches out so I went and talked to my other coworker and he said he told the new guy basically the same thing I did, to just practice on random pieces of stone from around the shop and to just keep practicing because it's the only way to learn. But, I guess he thinks the new guy doesn't like the work and can't be bothered to teach him anymore.

After talking to the new guy yesterday, I never got the impression he didn't want to learn or didn't like it, he just felt like he should know this without practicing and was angry at himself for not being able to do it. From the beginning everyone's told him if he wants to learn something here he needs to take the initiative to ask, or just go help people while they work and learn while doing. Everyone here is more than willing to help new people learn, but we're all overworked and the shop is understaffed and we really don't have time to stop and make sure new people are learning unless they come to us and ask. Even today, he's said he's still interested in learning the machines so i've told him if he wants to all he's gotta do is come over and help when i'm setting up or something and i'll teach him. Instead he decided to dig.

I'd like to help him learn, he's young and while this isn't the most glamorous job, you can make a lot of money, it's a trade, there's granite shops literally everywhere and they always need staff so you're always guaranteed work for someone his age it's a fairly good opportunity and the skills he'd learn here are fairly applicable and transferable to lots of different trades.

But I don't know how to teach someone that won't practice or take the initiative to learn. Or how to instill...uh I guess...desire to take the initiative to learn. I don't wanna make this one of these kinds of threads but I have honestly noticed it's always people in his age group, 19-25, they don't want to learn or they don't understand things take time and practice to learn.

I dunno has anyone had any experience inspiring someone like that to try. He's got the right attitude but his fear of making mistakes and his belief that he should just know things are stopping him. A while ago the boss wanted to fire him, I said to give him a chance and I still think he can learn I just don't really know how to help anymore.




posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 01:02 PM
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Some people learn technical stuff, some just the needed amount to get by, and some only become adept with repetition.

I was a block, brick, stone and paver mason most of my life. I was willing to teach early on, but there came a time it became a nuisance and too time consuming. I was the big buck maker, the crew worked well, we couldn't afford to slow me down, we were a team. A block, brick, stone or paver laid equaled $'s.

Not every student succeeds, and that is life. Laborers are labors because they can only sell muscles, not brains.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 01:04 PM
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a reply to: dug88

Humans learn by trial and error. Encourage said person to not be afraid to make errors and then they will learn. Show him the mistakes he is making and tell him why. We can't all be Einstein but a few words sometimes go a long way. I say this as an uneducated man.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 01:05 PM
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I think the reason you see this a lot in younger people is because at that point in life they are just still figuring out what they want to do in life.

Perhaps the best thing you could do is find out what it is he is passionate about and encourage him to pursue that. If he's not passionate about the job, he will take longer to learn it and won't enjoy it.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: dug88

I've worked with people that try as hard as anyone but just dont get it.
Not really anything you can do but hope that some day it will just click.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 01:13 PM
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a reply to: dug88

Does the new guy have ADD or something like it? It can make otherwise boring, repetitious work very, very hard to stick with. He may be telling you the truth that he does learn quickly, and he seems to have picked up the basic technique, but what he's missing is that while you can go through the basic motions of a thing that doesn't mean you have mastered it. It takes patience and practice to get that which means doing it over and over to master, and someone with a thing like ADD or ADHD is going to have trouble picking up that mastery.

There are a lot of adults who don't know they have it and will have problems like you describe.

It's one of the things our son is learning now. He has some troubles with it, not major, but enough that he had to learn that what I just described to you. Sports is good for him for this reason.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 01:17 PM
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Sounds like he's too proud and insecure to go through the "humiliation" of failing over and over again, until he learns. He hides from failure by just focusing on the digging. And his bad attitude could be a defense mechanism too, an excuse to not keep practicing, even a form of self-sabotage, if part of him finds it easier to just give up. I guess you said this already though, sorry.

I dunno. Maybe tell him about when you had to learn something.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 02:19 PM
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Thanks everybody for your input.

Ya unfortunately I know not everybody can succeed at everything, this is just the first guy in a while that's come here that really seems to at least want to work hard and from what I can tell this is the kind of stuff he enjoys, he spends a lot of time fixing mechanical things and such.

I'm not sure if he has add or not, he's never mentioned it, his attention span doesn't seem to bad but i'm honestly not too sure.

I think it might come down to the fear of making mistakes and basically this


originally posted by: Cutepants
Sounds like he's too proud and insecure to go through the "humiliation" of failing over and over again, until he learns. He hides from failure by just focusing on the digging. And his bad attitude could be a defense mechanism too, an excuse to not keep practicing, even a form of self-sabotage, if part of him finds it easier to just give up. I guess you said this already though, sorry.

I dunno. Maybe tell him about when you had to learn something.


Which I can understand. I used to be bad for doing that and it took a long time to learn mistakes and failures are ok as long as you learn from them. I'm just never too sure how to teach this to people.

ETA: well...guess I get to show him how I handle mistakes....#ed up a program pretty bad before lunch...a piece will likely need to be recut now.

edit on 25/7/2018 by dug88 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 02:31 PM
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a reply to: dug88

He sounds like my 14-year-old son, which is my way of saying it seems like he has a maturity-level problem when it comes to work.

You noted his age group, and I would be quick to generalize by saying that they have grown up in an immediate-results world--TV on demand, video games on phones, instant communications at any time with any person, etc., etc.

It's a sad truth, but there seems to be a segment of that age group who are just incapable of realizing that some things take time, and some things can actually take a lifetime to gain proficiency in. If he is unwilling to acknowledge and accept that, I would argue that he's probably too far gone to do jobs that take time and patience. It sounds like he's unwilling to put forth the effort and attention necessary to do the job correctly, so he'd rather dig ditches.

I don't understand that mentality, so I'm at a loss as to how to successfully change it, but it sounds like you're doing a good job trying. He may not be around much longer, but that's okay, because eventually he'll find somewhere that he fits if he can't make himself fit there.

Good on you for the efforts thus far.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 02:45 PM
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I hate to say this because I know your heart is in the right place, but ultimately this is not your responsibility. You cannot overcome his deficits for him.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 02:48 PM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: dug88

He sounds like my 14-year-old son, which is my way of saying it seems like he has a maturity-level problem when it comes to work.

You noted his age group, and I would be quick to generalize by saying that they have grown up in an immediate-results world--TV on demand, video games on phones, instant communications at any time with any person, etc., etc.

It's a sad truth, but there seems to be a segment of that age group who are just incapable of realizing that some things take time, and some things can actually take a lifetime to gain proficiency in. If he is unwilling to acknowledge and accept that, I would argue that he's probably too far gone to do jobs that take time and patience. It sounds like he's unwilling to put forth the effort and attention necessary to do the job correctly, so he'd rather dig ditches.

I don't understand that mentality, so I'm at a loss as to how to successfully change it, but it sounds like you're doing a good job trying. He may not be around much longer, but that's okay, because eventually he'll find somewhere that he fits if he can't make himself fit there.

Good on you for the efforts thus far.



Ya I know, i've seen a lot of people come and go here so i'm not surprised. He's also not the first guy who's come in who'd rather dig trenches than learn. I don't understand that mentality myself. It was the same way for me there but it only took a week or so for me to realize if i wanted to do more there than that I needed to just do it or at least ask otherwise I wasn't going to last there very long.

And I know it's not everyone that age, there's another guy the same age there who really understands it's a fairly great job to have and appreciates everything he's learned there. It just seems for every one person that comes in like that there's ten others who don't give a #. I dunno me and other people I know who work in different places and fairly different work all seem to be in the same situation. We're all overworked and understaffed and just go through new employees like crazy but finding ones that actually stay or bother to work just seems impossible.

It's gotten to the point where my boss has just told me to bring any friends in I know and give them a job....but the only people I know who I would bother offering it to already have jobs...the rest...well there's a reason they don't have jobs...



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: dug88

Being a former educator I can tell you that the majority of students today are use to getting easy A's in class. They no longer require mastering of material before moving on to the next grade. For Example in Texas students in school have to take a test called the "STAAR" test. For example, freshman take Algebra STAAR in order to move on to the next grade level math and graduate High School. In order to be considered "proficient" in Algebra they only need to get 18% correct on the test to pass. You can literally go C, C, C, C...down the whole test an still pass it. Even in college students are allowed to retake test over and over until they pass instead of actually failing the class and retaking it the next semester. Is this the students fault that classes are so easy and nearly everyone passes? I blame policy. For example, the Federal Government mandates that colleges who have student receive Federal Student Aid must have a certain graduation rate in order for the University to continue being eligible to receive those funds. What's the best way to improve graduation rates among college students? Make it easier, duh. Same in High School a school gets its rating on a percentage of students that graduate within 4 years. I was told by several principals that failing a student is not allowed and if a student fails its a poor reflection on the teacher, so teacher dumb down the curriculum for everyone as a result and everyone breezes through school without having to really study. I can assume they take this into the workforce wondering why they can't master a task without practice or study when their entire school career they passed nearly every class with a B or better without reading a book.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 03:58 PM
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So actually showing him how I dealt with my mistake did seem to help. After I got back I brought him over and showed him the damaged piece and explained how I now had to deal with this. I figured out how to fix it and had him watche work through the problem. It seemed to help. He was surprised I wasn't mad I explained to him getting mad would not have helped ya know...how # happens you just gotta be able to deal with it. He did point out this is something he needs to be able to do and asked if he could work with me for the day. So hopefully it goes well.

I don't necessarily feel responsible and i'm normally fairly quick to just not bother any more when people don't try. I dunno i've met and worked with a lot of people. I've found sometimes it's better to try and help someone with a positive attitude who just may not get things sometimes then work with someone that may know what to do but has a #ty attitude.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 04:53 PM
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Make training videos where you talk through how to do something and fix errors as you go along. You don't need anything more than a smartphone to make a movie.

For a 3D modelling application like Blender this is the best way to learn. I've done woodwork in the past, and it's a similar process. What takes an expert 30 minutes in a talk through will take a learner 3 hours. But the good thing is if there is something you miss the first time, you can rewind the video and step through it again.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: dug88

Set him a task that requires forethought and a lot of work.

Challenge him rather than doing things in simple steps.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: stormcell
Make training videos where you talk through how to do something and fix errors as you go along. You don't need anything more than a smartphone to make a movie.

For a 3D modelling application like Blender this is the best way to learn. I've done woodwork in the past, and it's a similar process. What takes an expert 30 minutes in a talk through will take a learner 3 hours. But the good thing is if there is something you miss the first time, you can rewind the video and step through it again.


This is an excellent suggestion and it is what I did while working as a videographer, digital photographer and technical writer for a manufacturing company for their new 'Lean and Mean' way of doing things.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 07:17 PM
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originally posted by: dug88
So actually showing him how I dealt with my mistake did seem to help. After I got back I brought him over and showed him the damaged piece and explained how I now had to deal with this. I figured out how to fix it and had him watche work through the problem. It seemed to help. He was surprised I wasn't mad I explained to him getting mad would not have helped ya know...how # happens you just gotta be able to deal with it. He did point out this is something he needs to be able to do and asked if he could work with me for the day. So hopefully it goes well.

I don't necessarily feel responsible and i'm normally fairly quick to just not bother any more when people don't try. I dunno i've met and worked with a lot of people. I've found sometimes it's better to try and help someone with a positive attitude who just may not get things sometimes then work with someone that may know what to do but has a #ty attitude.


As much as training videos might be helpful at this point he just needs to practice. From what I can tell he knows generally how to do what he needs to, it just doesn't come out very good. He worked with me for the last half of the day and I got him to do as many things as I could. Taught him a bit more about working the cranes and generally tried to be encouraging. I talked with him a bit at the end of the day. At some point he did go back and practice beveling for a bit, he said he wants to be helpful and be able to make work easier for the guy that's been training him. I explained to him a bit that while i understand wanting to be useful and helpful, it's more helpful in the long run to learn now, even if all you're doing is practicing, because in the end that'll be more helpful to everyone.

He seemed more cheerful and positive at the end of the day and was looking forward to coming in tomorrow and practicing more.

I do appreciate the input everybody's given here. Like i said i've worked with a lot of different people. I feel like i've learned when it's worth putting in the effort with people. Even if in the end it doesn't work out for him at my work, I feel like he's gonna figure his # out eventually and honestly just the progress i've seen in him since he has started does give me hope for the youngins. There are definitely some who get the need to work hard in life, even if they've got # to work through.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: dug88

My opinion - it's al the TV. And no real models of practise. TV makes everything look magic - from 0 to 80 with no incremental steps.

Practise, practise, practise.



posted on Jul, 26 2018 @ 06:46 AM
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Tell him, Communication is the key.

Until he realises that he can ask for help, to learn, and be better, he will always feel inadequate at simpler things. Too afraid to ask for fear he will be seen as stupid, but communication gets us through these things. If it is a workplace that will take that as a sign of weakness, then it is a bad place to work for anyone.

If not, and people are willing to help, which a good workplace does, then once that barrier is broken, he will be open to changing his attitude from one of internalising situations to expressing himself.

Something we all do, just differently and at different times.

Be that life coach. Don't just teach the job, teach life.

edit on 26-7-2018 by SummerRain because: (no reason given)




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