Living Life as a Learner

Attitude eats aptitude for breakfast!

balance_blog_imageAh, the eternal struggle! Attitude over aptitude – aptitude over attitude: it’s never ending! Naturally, a balanced amount of both is ideal – knowledge and skills combined with the right approach, understanding and motivation – but this perfect partnership is rare and more often than not, there’s a sense of trade off involved. We sacrifice one for the other and comments like ‘well, they don’t know everything but their attitude is great!’ or conversely ‘their understanding is spot on but their attitude lets them down’ are not uncommon. So, what’s the answer? Which, if either, is preferable? Which would win in a fight?!?

For me, attitude eats aptitude for breakfast every time! If someone has the right attitude, outlook and approach THAT I can work with! If someone wants to achieve and wants to improve you know that person will always do their best and that’s worth it’s weight in gold. Now don’t get me wrong – that doesn’t mean that aptitude doesn’t matter – the absolute opposite in fact as this person is worth investing time and effort training and up-skilling. It is a lot easier to teach someone new skills or impart a piece of new knowledge than it is to get them to think in a different way or change their value system and that’s where attitude lives – right at the panicle of the pyramid along with self perception and beliefs.

As we’ve already established, aptitude can be taught but is it possible to train attitude? It’s a good question and I’m undecided. Is it possible for someone to learn to adopt a new attitude? My answer would be ‘yes’ in which case, that makes it trainable … or does it? Just because something is learnable does that automatically make it trainable? I’m not convinced. I believe someone can learn to love but I don’t believe it’s trainable and for me, attitude falls into this grey area. What I do believe is that behaviour breeds behaviour and if you want someone to learn a better attitude it has to be actively demonstrated and practised day in day out. ‘Be the living demonstration of the change you want to see’ seems to fit the bill with attitude.

So, for what it’s worth, there you have it! A few thoughts on this interesting and intriguing topic!! I suspect the attitude versus aptitude question will continue to split the after dinner party conversation for along time to come.


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