Edited excerpt from Colin Jensen’s answer to From the perspective of a CEO, what are the most underrated skills most employees lack?:
Don’t ask to be trained.
The one thing I never want to hear, but have heard as much as anything over the years, is that an employee doesn’t know how to do something. Great, google it, find a book–but don’t take three other employees off their jobs to write a curriculum to train you.
“Training” is for corporations to document that they’ve trained you, mostly when their insurance company or licensure requires it. Sometimes it exists so companies can reinforce a mystique that they’re like no other place you’ve ever seen or you have to do things their way to fit in.
But successful people don’t have a voice in their heads telling them what’s “possible,” or what they “can” do. So saying “I haven’t done that before” or “I’m not trained in that” sounds to them like “I refuse to put any thought into this job.”
I personally remember the profound flattery I felt when a boss told me to write him a simple software program by next Tuesday. I had never taken a programming class. And whenever I tell that story, someone in the room always pipes up about how they wouldn’t have taken it and how I should have asserted my rights (rather than write the darned program!). But those guys don’t go far.
(1) When is there a need for organized training? When does organized training work?
(2) Thank you Persha Valman for the tip.