There are many skills and traits that I think people can take the time to learn: patience, honesty, and time management. Arguably, there are other traits that I don’t think can be taught and one of them is “caring”.
What I mean by “caring” is you can’t cause someone to one day care. If you are working a job and on a team and a member just has a very casual attitude, you can’t really cause them to put forth effort or care about the outcomes of the team. You can try your best to motivate them or inspire them, but truly “caring” about something means that it matters to you, and that can only come from that team member.
In practical application, many companies and teams fall a part because there was someone on that team “poisoning their well.” It doesn’t take too long to spot these people, many times they aren’t even bad or aren’t aware of what they are doing. They might make snippy remarks, joke about the bosses behind their backs, or just do their jobs in a lackadaisical fashion. But I believe the reason that these workers do poorly is because they have a general lack of care about the outcomes of the team. They maybe don’t see themselves staying long term, they don’t want to be there in the first place, or they have less than satisfactory skills for their role.
When team members don’t care, it’s contagious and can cause others to feel the same way. It’s very hard to make progress when you have these workers in your midst. When you’re looking to expand your team, look for “caring”. Look for the person who’s engaged and interested, not “checked out”. It’s so critical to find the people that want to be there, that want to be on your team and take the organization to new levels.
Look for the one that cares, because that trait — is unteachable.