youth ministry, student mentoring,

Signs a Staff Is Unteachable

By Doug Franklin June 14, 2010

As leaders, we constantly think about developing the people around us. We naturally want them to reach their potential. We want to be able to delegate responsibilities to them. We want to release them to own the ministry. But sometimes we’re asked to lead a staff person who is simply unteachable. We try to change our approach, even our tone of voice. We try to identify with them and their situation, but sometimes they just don’t want someone to teach them anything. Here are some signs that someone is unteachable.

– They can’t learn from someone younger than them.
– They have a misplaced confidence in their abilities.
– There’s nobody following them. They aren’t developing other people.
– When stress comes, they grab at control even harder.
– They say “I can’t” a lot.
– They see everything in light of their circumstances only.
– They make decisions based on their comfort first.
– They hide their true fear.
– They’re afraid of being discovered.
– They’re into titles, not influence.
– They determine a person’s potential by what that person can do for them.

Unteachable people burn out their coworkers very quickly and are most likely affecting more than just you. They are sucking the life out of others in their organization. The first step to getting this person out of this is to confront the person. Make sure that you can clearly explain how and when they are living outside of the ministry’s expectations. Set some steps for that person to take in order to grow, and a time frame for visible change to take place.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More