14 August 2014

Why are some people more caring and supportive than others? Are these traits that can be taught or are they formed and set at a young age? I’ve always been fascinated by the melting pot of ingredients that goes into forming people’s personalities, and over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some skills you simply can’t teach.

supportive_geneThe way I see it, before the age of about seven or eight, your character is poised in the balance and after that, certain characteristics stick for good. This isn’t to say that we don’t change or develop as adults, but that some values and habits have already formed, which is why we need to make sure we improve education on all fronts. From the age of zero – parental education – through to the nursery stage, we need to realise we’re influencing children and it’s our responsibility not to limit them.

The older we get, the harder it is to develop certain attributes. It’s like trying to become an athlete later in life when you’ve never trained for competitive sport before! It’s going to be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

The problem with British education is that we seem to be obsessed with academia. Yet, have you ever noticed how some of the best entrepreneurs struggled at school? Why aren’t we teaching life skills like how to pay your mortgage, understanding tax or managing priorities?

When it comes to building a career, academic achievement is not the be all and end all; far from it in our business, where we definitely look for the skills you can’t teach. We look for the people who can brighten up a room with their energy; the people with a supportive gene and the passion to learn and achieve.

You can train someone to make good decisions or teach them to be better at communication, but you can’t change people’s habits and cultural values – and in my opinion, it’s those things that ultimately count the most!

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