I love the word “Teachable” because its meaning captures the struggle that a lot of maid employers go through everyday with their maids. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it in two ways;
- Capable of being taught
- Being apt and willing to learn
Many of the complaints I get from maid employers are centered around these two definitions. It is either the employers feel that their maids are too dull and not capable of learning, or even if she is capable, it would require her being taught one step at a time which they do not have the patience for or knowledge on how to go about it.
On the other hand, some employers feel like their maids are headstrong and determined not to learn the way they want things done. They keep repeating the same things even when they have been taught to do it otherwise.
In my list of must-have traits for a maid, being teachable came in second. This is why I wasn’t surprised when the most common trait mentioned during a recently conducted interesting and informal poll, (You can check it out here ) turned out to be TEACHABLE. I realize that this trait is one of those you can hardly discover during the selection process. That is the reason why you do not get to discover that you maid is unteachable till after hiring and you have interacted with her for a while.
So if you are an employer, whose maid seems unteachable and you want to change that, then keep reading.
Maids who fall under the opposite of the first definition ( appear like they are incapable of being taught), are like that for two reasons. They are either uninterested in what is being taught or they cannot relate with the method being used to teach. To make them interested, you can make them see how what you are teaching is beneficial for them, not just because you want it done your way. You can also introduce incentives, when a learning criteria has been met.
On the other hand, different people learn by different methods. While some maids understand when you speak or write it down, others may just need to be painted a picture. Another maid will only learn when she has seen someone else do it practically, and even when it has been done, for a few others you would have to go the extra mile of simulating an experience for them, that is they practice it.
Your maid already has some knowledge acquired, and she must have learnt what she knows through one of these means. So if you are able to determine how she takes in knowledge and is able to apply it, you will most likely find out that she is not incapable of learning. She only needs to be taught a certain kind of way.
For employers who find themselves with maids with opposing character to the second definition, the key to changing that is to KEEP TEACHING. Correcting someone on the same error can be daunting and frustrating. We usually get tired because we do not see changes happening on the surface but what you are not aware of is that a process has started on you maid’s inside called UNLEARNING.
You see, before she can feel at home with the right information and get excited about it, she has to do away with the wrong beliefs and ideals she has held on to for a long time. Whatever new thing you are teaching her to do will have to contend with the previous ideas she had of how it should be done. It is when you are consistent with teaching that she’s able to discard the wrong information and take in and apply the right one.
This is when LEARNING starts to happen. The new information you are giving her now becomes the new normal and she is able to take it in freely. One day, when you are thinking of giving up, you will all of a sudden see her applying what you have spent time teaching her. That is when you realize that she was going through a transformation process.
Let me mention quickly that teaching is different from complaining. When you teach, your focus is placed on the solution, while complaining focuses on the error done. If you complain more than you teach, you are slowing down the process.
So in summary, if you want to help your maid become teachable, do these three things
- Find ways to make her interested in what you are teaching her.
- Find her most effective learning method, apply it and stick with it in teaching her.
- Keep teaching. Prioritize teaching over complaining. Be consistent in your message.
If you do these things, you are on your way to having yourself a maid who exemplifies the word “Teachable”.
As always, I hope you apply these tips and I can’t wait to hear how they have contributed to your maid’s transformation.